Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "History of Butler County Kansas"

See other formats


3 3433 08182538 6 

; I 



Butler County 







Lawrence, Kansas 



. D 

'*^^^ 1920 ^ 


; / 







"[-listories are as perfect as the historian is wise and is gifted with 
an eye and a soul." — Carlyle. 

The contributors to this work, the historians, are men and women, 
writing" from personal knowledge, personal observation, and personal 
experience ; those that have made, created, and assisted in making and 
creating" that of which they write. That they are w'ise and gifted and 
endowed with, and possessed of both eye and soul, is a self-evident fact; 
and the reader will be convinced that they speak that which they do 
know. This history being based upon such evidence, which becomes 
the best evidence attainable, its reliability, its perfection, and its au- 
thenticity, are assured. 

The history of Butler county is the history of an empire. While 
many of those pioneers of early days have taken their chamber in ihe 
silent halls of death, have gone to that country from whose bourne no 
traveler hath ever yet returned, yet a goodly number remain among us ; 
ripe in years, experience and information. From them we learn of those 
w'hose brain and brawn laid, and assisted in laying the foundation of 
what is today a county. "Magnificent in its greatness and great in its 
magnificence" — a county with a diversity of interests and resources 
practically unlimited ; a county where school houses and church spires 
are always in sight ; a county wdiose people are happy, contented and 
prosperous, possessed of refinement and culture, attained unto an intel- 
lectual level; and equipped to meet the broader view and higher purpose 
of the civilized world. 

As we contemplate the results of the efforts of these hardy, earnest 
early settlers, and realize the wonderful transformation by reason thereof, 
and as we enjoy the fruits and benefits of their labors, their toil, their 
hardships, their sacrifices, our hearts go out in thankfulness to Almighty 
God for that American spirit possessed by our ancestry, which 1)attle?. 
builds, creates, and makes two blades of grass grow where l)ut one 
grew before. 

The reminiscences of these pioneers form a most essential, valua]:)le 
and interesting portion of this work. There is nothing mythical or 
legendary contained jn them. They are not dream stories, but reliable 
and authentic stories of the men and women, boys and girls of early 
davs. Their romances, their trials, tribulations and triumphs. They who 


stayed, who endured, who conquered, who are entitled to, and who will 
receive i^reater things in the days to come. 

Grateful acknowledgment is herehy made to the press of Butler 
count}', and to those whose kindness of heart and whose ready pen have 
rendered material assistance in the preparation of this work ; and to 
those pioneer men and women whose lives and experiences make this 
history possible, a great many of whom are no longer here, but whose 
memory remains like unto a benediction ; and to my daughter. Corah 
Adelaide ]\Iooney, for her efficient help. 

Recognition is made of the following bibliography used in the prepa- 
ration of this l)ook: Kansas State Historial Collection; ^^^ilder's 
Annals of Kansas; Kansas in American Commonwealths, by Leverett 
\\'. Spring; History of Kansas, \\'illiam C. Cutler ; Cyclopedia of State, 
F. W. Blackmar; Kansas Session Laws, Bulletins. Pamplets. Records, 


El Dorado. Kans., September. 1916. 



Adams, J. B 400 

Aikman, Granville P 414 

Arch Bridge, El Dorado 65 


Boland. E. J 592 

Boland, Mrs. E. J .'. 592 

Boland's Garage 592 

Bank of Whitewater 177 

Benton School Building. 101 

Boating Scene, Walnut River 77 


CampbelLEli W 736 

Carnahan, Mr. and Mrs. S. P 768 

Carnegie Library, El Dorado 131 

Cartwright, Abel, and wife 816 

Central Avenue, EI Dorado 125 

Chance, N. R 624 

Chance, Mrs. N. R 624 

Chance's Residence, N. R 624 

City Building, El Dorado 120 

Court House, Butler County 34 

Curry, W. H. and Lydia 528 


Davis, E 656 

Douglass High School 116 


Early Street Scene 68 

Epperson, C. G 752 

Eyman, Joseph L 560 

F . 

First Court House 54 

Fullinwider, George F 496 


Hamilton, J. D 408 

Hammond, Isaac, Wife and Grand- 
children 544 

Hazlett, R. H 416 

High School, Augusta 98 

High School Building, El Dorado 135 

Himel)augh, L. D 688 

Hotel, Store and Postoffice 48 

Independent Office, Whitewater 171 

.Joseph, J. D 393 


Landis, David, and wife 808 

Leon High School 165 

Logan, H. M 576 

Logan, Mrs. H. M 576 

Logan Residence 576 


McGinnis, Walter F 472 

McKinley School Building 135 


Main Street, EI Dorado 123 

Main Street, Towanda 220 

Mannion, T. P 440 

Mooney, Rev. Isaac 640 

Mooney, Vol. P Frontispiece 

Murdock Memorial Fountain 61 

Murdock, Thomas Benton 480 

Noe. Charles R. , 672 


Oil Field Scene 283 

Oil Well, First in EI Dorado Dis- 
trict 282 

Old El Dorado House 50 

Old Court House 57 


Palmer, M. A., and wife 488 

Parker, Joel, and Family 608 

Penley, P. H 720 

Penley, Mrs. F. H 720 

Pioneer Farm View 688 

Pioneer Home 42 

Poston, Edith J 784 

Poston, Morris B 784 

Poston, Mrs. W. H ; 784 

Poston, W. H 784 

Preston, F. L 448 


Progressive Farm View 688 

Piircell, Newt 456 


Rolnson's Residence, F. W 221 

Rose Hill Consolidated School 195 


Santa Fe Depot, El Dorado 90 

Schumacher, Henry W 432 

Seward's Residence, F. W 704 

Shelden, Alvah 464 

Stewart, Mrs. Charles H 512 

Stewart, Charles H 512 

Stapleton No. 1, Oil Well 282 

State Street, Augusta 96 


Taylor, W. H., and Wife 504 

Towanda School Building 223 

Transportation, Early Day 33 


Waldorf, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 800 

Walnut River Dam 44 

Waterworks, El Dorado 147 

Waterworks Dam, Augusta 99 

Whitewater Falls 39 

Whitewater High School Building.... 173 

Whitewater Street Scene 175 




Named in Honor of Andrew P. Butler — Earl}- Influence indicated 
in Name — One of the Original Thirty-three Counties^ — First 
and Later Boundaries — -First County Seat — Township Bound- 
aries — Organization of Townships — Districts — Topography 
— Products — Herd Law — Fences Pages 33-40 



Pre-Historic Red Man — Coronado's Visit in 1541 — Native Indian 
Tribes — Indian Character — Early Trails — Evidences of Pre- 
Historic Occupation of Butler County — Indian Relics — Vil- 
lage and Camp Sites — Indian Traditions — Indian Imple- 
ments Pages 41-46 



First Settler — Births — Marriages — Postoffices — Stores — Schools 
— Churches — Court Records and Procedure — Official Acts 
— Elections — Assessment and First Valuation — Present Valu- 
ation Pages 47-53 




First County Seat — County Seat Elections — First Court Flouse — 
Bond Issue Defeated — Citizens' Subscription — Further Coun- 
ty Seat Contention — Court House Enlarged — Ne^v Court 
House — Location — Building — Cost — Extinct Towns . . Pages 54-62 




The Plains — Dawn of Era — I'rimiti\e Times — First Settlement — 
Indian Perils and Scares — Cherokees Come — Indian Trading- 
Posts — Camps — Settlement Prior to 1870 — Settlement in 
1857 — Drouth of i860 — Home Defense Company Organized 
— Bntler County in the CiYil War — First Settler in El Dorado 
— Cholera — Early Settlers — Postoffice — First Fourth of July 
Celehration— Homesteading Pages 63-74 



Real Settlement — Pioneer Women — Erection of Saw Mills — Pio- 
neer Life — Amusements — Grasshopper Year — Devastation — 
Reaction — Brighter Hopes — "Sleep. Old Pioneer" — After- 
wards — Pul)lic Enter]:)rises — Prosperity — Xow Pages 75-85 



Highwa^■s in Early Days — Freighting — Government Trains — 
Mathewson — Stage Coaches — Experiences of Stage Coach 
Days — Stage Drivers — -Passing of the Stage Coach Days — 
Railroads — First Railroad Bonds Voted — Another Bond 
Election — Santa Fe — Alissouri Pacific — Frisco — Communica- 
tion — Pioneer Alail Carrier — Star Route — Automobiles .... 

Pages 86-94 


Augusta Township — Benton Township — Bloomington Town- 
ship — Bruno Township — Chelsea Township— Clay Town- 
Ship — Clifford Township — Douglass Township Pages 95-119 




El Dorado Township — City of El Dorado — Location — Early 
Industrie's^-Name — First Postoffice — First Hotel — Rail- 
roads — Walnut Valley l^imes — El Dorado in 1870 — From 


the \\'alnnt Valley Times of March, 1881 — El Dorado in 

1916 Pages 120-152 




Fairmount Township — Fairview Township — Glencoe Township 
— Hickory Township — Lincoln Township — Little Walnut 
Township — Leon — Logan Township Pages 153-170 




Milton Township — Murdock Township — Pleasant Township — 

Plum Grove Township— Prospect Township Pages 171-192 




Richland Township— Rock Creek Township — Rosalia Township 

— Spring Township Pages 193-214 




Sycamore Township — Towanda Township — Towanda — Union 

Township — Walnut Township Pages 215-235 



Early Political Views — Judicial Districts — First Election — 
Character of Officers — First Township Officers — An In- 


dependent Party — First Conventions — Political Parties — • 
Farmers' Alliance and Populism — Free Silver Party — Last 
Election — Senators — Representatives — County Commis- 
sioners — County Clerks — County Treasurers — County At- 
torneys — Sheriffs — Clerks of the District Court^ — Registrar 
of Deeds — Probate Judges — Superintendents of Public 
Instruction — County Surveyors — County Assessors — Coun- 
ty Health Officers Pages 236-249 



Early Judicial Districts — "No Man's Land" — County Lines in 
1864 — County Seat Changed — Early Lawyers and Law 
Suits — First Deed Recorded — First and Second Terms of 
Court — Horse Thieves — Vigilance Committees — Lynch- 
ings — "Butler County ^^^ar" — Criminal and Civil Cases — • 
Attorneys Pages 250-261 



Physicians of this Generation — Qualifications — Experiences — 
Pioneer Physicians — Advance of the Science — Surgery — 
Hospitals Pages 262-263 



Agricultural Society — First Fairs — Kafir Corn Carnival — 
Changes in Methods — Alfalfa — Kafir — Licrease of Crop 
Acreage — Market Conditions — Oats and Wheat — Prog- 
ress — "Kafir Corn" — County Farm 264-270 



Early Day Horses— Trotting Stock — Some Fast Ones — Draft 
Horses — Mules — First Cattle — Losses from Severe AA'in- 


ters — Cattle Raising- as a Business — Effect of Herd Law — 
First Cows — Breeders — Finest Herd of Herefords in the 
World Pag-es 271-274 



W'M Fruits of Pioneer Times — First Orchards^Plant Dis- 
ease — Insects — Investment — Butler County Horticultural 
Society — Successful Emit Growers — Orchards — Native 
Trees — Native Flowers Pages 275-280 



Supply of Fuel — Deep Test in 1879 — Other Tests — First Com- 
pany Organized to Drill for Oil — Early Geologists, Re- 
ports Discouraging — Company Organized at Augusta — 
First Gas Discovered West of the Flint Hills Near Au- 
g-usta — Other Tests and Discoveries — Oil Discovered — 
Marvelous Development Pages 281-284 



Present Prosperous Conditions — Number of Banks in the Coun- 
tv — First Bank — Second and Third Banks — First Na- 
tional Bank — Exchange National Bank — h\)urth Bank in 
El Dorado — Ed. C. Ellet — Officers and Capital — Citizens 
State Bank — Butler County State Bank — Exchange Stat^ 
Bank — State Bank of Leon — Peoples State Bank. Latham 
— Bank of Whitewater — Peoples State Bank, \Miitewater 
— Towanda State Bank — Rose Hill State Bank — Rosalia 
State Bank — Beaumont State Bank — Character of Banks — ■ 
Bank Commissioner Pages 285-291 




Mysterious Switchboard — First Telephone Exchange at El Do- 
rado — Butler County Telephont- and Electric Company — 


Growth of Business — JMissouri and Kansas Telephone Com- 
pany — Officers — Charles H. Parker Pages 292-294 



First School — Difficulties of Early. Organization — Early X'or- 
mal Institutes — First Teachers Associations — Course of 
Study Provided — First Commencement — First School House 
in El Dorado — Barnes Law Schools — Special Courses — 
Barnes High School League — Rural School Contests — 
Early Teachers — El Duradu High School — Superintend- 
ents — Central School Building Burned — Development of 
Schools Pages 295-300 



First Religious Services in Butler County — A Pioneer Meeting- 
House — Beecher's Sermons Delivered Here — First Sermon 
in \\'estern Butler County — Alissionaries — First Metho- 
dist Alinister — All Denominations Represented — Sunday 
Schools — Influence of Churches Pages 301-303 



Masonic Lodges — Independent Order of Odd Fellows — Modern 
Woodmen of America — Grand Army of the Republic — 
Woman's Relief Corps — Anti Horse Thief Association . . 

Pages 304-313 


women's CLUBS. 

Federated Clubs — Beethoven Club. El Dorado — Shakespeare 
Club — Woman's Mutual Benefit Clul^ — The Avon Club, 
El Dorado — Dausihters of American Revolution — The Out- 
look Club, Augusta — Twentieth Century Clul), Douglass — 


Mutual Helpers. Cassoday — E. Ai. B. Club, Towanda — 

Every Wednesday Home'Study Club Pages 314-317 



First Commercial Sign — The Xext Beer Story — A Booze Story 
— Another One — Just a Story — Celebration — Some 
Things — A Murder — When Times Were Young, by Fran- 
ces E. Alooney— In Society — The Old Hotel — Another 
Time \ '. Pages 3 18-325 



Mv Parents — The "Quilting Bee" Crowd — Recollections of 
Plum Grove — Back in tlie Sixties — The Last Battle — 
"Vagrant Memories" Pages 326-339 



My First Xight in El Dorado — Memories — A Hunting Party — 
Dr. John Horner's Recollections — Southeast Butler — 
Early Times — A Story of the Days Long Gone — Memo- 
ries of Pioneer Days Pages 340-358 



Experiences of a Lawyer. 

Toe Everson — Joe Everson and the Fool Boy — Gardner's He- 
roic Effort — Tiger Bill — An Intelligent Jury — A Defend- 
ant Who Lied — The Colonel's Stratagem — A Game of 
Pool — The Colonel and Dan — Mistaken Identity .. Pages 359-366 





The Victory of Half a Century — A Pioneer — Story of Early 
Days — Pioneer Days — A Pioneer of 1868 — Recollections 
fo Jerry Conner Pages 367-378 



Mead's Ranch — Recollections of Early Times — An Indian Scare 
— Early Schools in El Dorado — A Tornado — \A'ing in the 
Seventies Pages 379-392 





Adams, J. B 400 

Adams, Samuel W. , 858 

Aikman, C. A ; 434 

Aikman, C. L 477 

Aikman, Granville P . 424 

Alexander, Bruce 807 

Allebach, B. F .... 670 

Allen, F. S 861 

Amlong, C. G 741 

Anderson, Stephen , 562 

Armstrong, J. H 426 

Arnold, A. W 723 

Atkins, James 574 

Avery, William H 404 

Axtell, John G , 682 


Bachelder, E. A 721 

Baldwin, Jackson 615 

Bally, Henry 859 

Barkalow, J. A 593 

Barker, A. J :.... 821 

Bates, H. C. 792 

Beck, J. L 511 

Becker, H. W 795 

Benson, Fred W 564 

Benson, George J 463 

Benson, W. F 785 

Betz, John F 644 

Betz, William H 475 

Bishop Brothers 543 

Blankenbaker, Mattie M 685 

Blankinshii), D. R 746 

Blakeman, Sidney 743 

Blood, L. N 786 

Bodecker, W. H 842 

Boland, E. J 592 

Bourgett, James B 533 

Boyles, Andrew J 638 

Braley, Matsy 543 

Breidenstein, Mrs. August 731 

Brooks, L. N 796 

Brown, W. E 478 

Brumback, Oliver P 623 

Buck, Carl F ... 516 

Butts, W. M 686 


Cain, Charles V 778 

Cain, H. E 657 

Cain, W. H : 765 

Ca!meron, E 732 

Campbell, Eli W. 736 

Cannon, J. W 452„ 

Carnahan, S. P 768 

Cartwright, Abel 816 

Case, W. J 705 

Cease, H. E 553 

Chance, N. R 624 

Chesebro, H. K 799 

Chisman, W. W 493 

Church, James H 782 

Clark, William A 742 

Clark, W. W 744 

Claypool, M. P 725 

Cline, Charles R 594 

Coggshall, N. B 702 

Colyar, J. P 807 

Copplns, Charles 748 

Corcoran, M 515 

Correll, Mrs. M. E 746 

Cox, Eli 575 

Cron, F. H 583 

Crowley, J. R 788 

Cupp, Daniel H 554 

Curry, S. Y 528 


Davis, Anthony G : 457 

Davis, Alden J 587 

Davis, E 656 

Davis, William T 818 

Dedrick, H. S 675 

Dillenbeck, C. B 804 

Dillenbeck, Frederick E 402 

Dodge, C. M 728 

Bodwell, James B : 669 

Drake, Austin L. 730 




Eaton, Edward T 757 

Eckel. George H , 681 

Egan, L. J - ■- ^53 

Elder, D. M 612 

Elder, George - '^^^ 

Elliott, M. M 801 

Ellis, John .." 843 

Enright, T. A -. 657 

Epperson, C. G '''°2 

Erickson, John "^^0 

Etnire, S. M. - 522 

Eyman. Joseph L 560 


Farr, R. H 598 

Fell, T. J. - , ^^^ 

Fenton. T. A 495 

Ferguson, J. C - '^'^5 

Ferrier, Thomas L 619 

Fillmore, T. H - - 676 

Flenner, W. P 565 

Foskett, Herman T '^'^1 

Fostnaught, Peter '789 

Fox, John W 867 

Fox, George R. - 865 

Frazier, Nathan F 666 

Frazier, Nathan F, Jr 665 

Frazier, Ray E 666 

Freeman, Benjamin T 829 

French, G. H 839 

French, Harley 1 460 

Fuller, L. J ■ 642 

Fullinwider, George F - 496 


Gale, Samuel P 724 

Gallagher, Gustavus F 484 

Gamble, B. C 696 

Garrison, G. E - 539 

Gaskill, May 747 

Geddes, Karl M 427 

Getz, J. J <^^1 

Gibson, G. W 869 

Gilmore, William 569 

Girod, Clyde 648 

Glancey, C. A 711 

Glendenning, J. F 471 

Green, J. G '^'^^ 

Gregg, M. M 479 

Griffith, J. J 832 

Guinty, Capt. Mike 749 

Guthrie, John W 531 


Haines, Forest H 411 

Hall, L. S 518 

Hall, Joseph T 852 

Hamilton, Alphius L 398 

Hamilton, George 463 

Hamilton, J. D 408 

Hamilton, L. A 663 

Hammond, Rebecca - 544 

Hammond, Harry 526 

Hammond, Ray 811 

Hanes, J. E 810 

Hanson, Nels C --- 446 

Hanstine, George B 595 

Harding, Mrs. J. E 715 

Harper, E. T 718 

Harris, W. N - 588 

Harrison, J. D 613 

Harsh, Leonard -'- 735 

Harsh, S. S 734 

Harshman, J. N 423 

Hartenbower, H. W 556 

Hartenbower, Mary E 557 

Harvey, Elijah E 420 

Harvey, C. W - 419 

Haskins. Clark - 787 

Havner, J. H 636 

Hawes, Jesse A : 723 

Hawks, H. F 578 

Hayes, James 505 

Hayman, George F 783 

Haymen, H. C ^ 653 

Hazlett, Robert H ' 416 

Hein, C. \V 868 

Henrie, James C 709 

Hershey, P. J 600 

Hewitt, Alex 830 

Hill, L. C 458 

Himebaugh, L. D - 688 

Hinz, August - 847 

Hitchcock, William ■..- 499 

Holderman, T. W 701 

Holford, Orville 415 

Holmes, G. F 510 

Hopkins, John A 610 

Horner, John 596 

Hoss, Mellville 652 

Houser, John 566 


Houston, W. J 726 

Hoy, Mrs. William 840 

Hufford, Charles A 831 

Hughes, J. T 627 

Hulburt, H. H 774 

Hunt, J. L 708 

Hutton, William 687 

Irwin, W. H 699 


Jamison, C. C 568 

Jennings, J. W 498 

Johnson, J. J. 647 

Johnson, Peter 699 

Jones, Marion W 806 

Joseph, J. D 393 

Joseph, M. N 561 

Julian, R. H 435 


Kelley, M. C 673 

Kemper, Worth W 845 

Kennedy, U. G , 698 

Kenoyer, G. A 674 

Kimberlin, J. L 822 

Kinley, Robert 837 

King, F. J. B 559 

King, Joseph 751 

Kinsay, P. R 777 

Kirkpatrick, J. W ;... 450 

Kirkpatrick, Louisa B. 501 

Kiser, L. L 476 

Kramer, T. A 406 


Lamb, Zella 412 

Landis, David 808 

Lathrop, Howard 621 

Leidy, Fremont 802 

Leland, Cyrus A 437 

Levring, B 843 

Leydig, Bruce R 586 

Leydig, J. V 654 

Liggett, Joseph P 820 

Lightner, O. N 717 

Logan, H. M 576 

Long, J. P 755 

Loomis, M. S 584 

Love, Charles .-... 809 

Loy, John S 517 


McAnally, J. M 570 

McAnnally, Francis M 835 

McCluggage, Francis J 591 

McCluggage, James 590 

McCluggage, J. Freer 581 

McCluggage, J. R 582 

McCool, J. J 508 

McCullough, W. A. .. ^.. 683 

McGinnis, Walter F 1 472 

McGlade, S 719 

McWilliams, F. G 581 


Magill, Silas 767 

Mannion, T. P 440 

Marshall, Henry H 679 

Martick, W. S ; 690 

Martin, A. H 727 

Mead, Joseph 825 

Mellor, L. H 649 

Miller, Dr. R. S 395 

Mitchell, W. S 577 

Mocney, Isaac 640 

Mooney, Isaac N. W 545 

Mooney, Osborne 443 

Moore, J. B 817 

Moore, W. Oscar 841 

Morgan, Clarence 834 

Morgan, H. C 694 

Morgan, I. G. ...: 695 

Morgan, James M 631 

Morley, J. D 449 

Morrison, William H 552 

Mosier, Daniel 546 

Mosier, Elisha 644 

Mosier, J. L. 548 

Moyle, Henry 486 

Moyle, John W 529 

Munson, M. S 428 

Murdock. T. B 480 

Myers, John R 530 

Myers, Joseph H 737 


Neal, A. C 790 

Neal, C. M 454 

Neal, E. L 605 

Neal, L. J 602 

Neiman, George D 595 

Nellens, J. K. . 759 




Newbury, Walter .'. 639 

Newland, Isaac 848 

Newland, Thomas S 849 

Noble, W. H 466 

Noe, Charles R 672 

Nolder. H. M 604 

Norris, Cora 502 

Nossaman, A. H 600 


Ogden, Emily P. ..- - 635 

Ohmart, George W 521 

Oldbury, Richard E 684 

Olmstead. H. D 579 

Osborn, Phineas 451 

Osburii, V. A 407 

Overstreet, Thomas H 862 

Ow, D. W 573 


Pace, L. M 603 

Palmer, M. A 488 

Parker, Joel 608 

Parsons, J. W. 791 

Paulson, Peder 754 

Payne, F. M 678 

Peas, A. F 708 

Penley, F. H 720 

Perkins, Anna A 437 

Pierson, William M 558 

Pimlot, C. D 507 

Plummer, James 1 864 

Poffinbarger, John H 826 

Poston, W. B 784 

Pottle, Strother G 469 

Powell, Thomas J 814 

Preston, F. L 448 

__ Price, C. M - 865 

"" Price, J. H 461 

Prosser, Edward 739 

Purcell, Newt 456 

Pyle, Albert 538 


Ralston, J. R - 549 

Ralston, Renwick P 643 

Ramsey, A. C 764 

Ramsey, J. P 707 

Ratts, R. J 645 

Reid, Luther 651 

Rhodes, James A 519 

Rice, A. A 851 

Rickey, B. F 6^1 

Riffe, J. W 489 

Robinson, James O — ^ 762 

Robison, F. W - 536 

Robison, J. C. 533 

Robison, S. J 840 

Robson, J. D. 503 

Rcdwell, D. R -- 703 

Russell, Mrs. B. A 805 

Russell, H. G 515 

Rutherford, J. P 527 

Rvan, G. H 797 

Sandifer, James H 418 

Sandifer, William H 467 

Satterthwaite, J. M 634 

Schumacher, Henry W 432 

Scrivner, W. G 850 

Sensenbaugh, Henry 833 

Sehy, Henry E 629 

Seward, F. W - 704 

Shaffer, S - 714 

Sharp, Joseph -.- 421 

Shelden, Alvah - 464 

Sheppard, John 617 

Sherar, W. A 838 

Showalter, George M - 781 

Shriver, C. F. ■ 689 

Shriver, E. A 541 

Shriver, Joshua - 541 

Sinclair, Hector 414 

Skaer, A. L - 509 

Skaer, J. H - - 507 

Skaer, William 693 

Sluss, W. H 444 

Smiley, Thomas 856 

Smith, Albert E. - 609 

Smith, J. W 813 

Smith, Philip 827 

Snorf, Park M 625 

Songer, H. L. 565 

Sowers, Wellington 776 

Spalding, Edgar A 716 

Spangler, J. B. 758 

Staley, H. C 588 

Stearns, A. W 550 

Steiger, Chas. W 413 

Stephens, H. Charles 772 

Stewart, Amos - 863 

Stewart, Charles H 512 


Stipe, M. R 630 

Strasser, George 629 

Stratford, E. D 780 

Stiirdyvin, Mary S60 

Sunbarger, Albert 729 

Switzer, J. R 499 


Tabing, F. B 680 

Tague, M. T - 836 

Taylor, W. H 504 

Templeton, Robert E 731 

Teter, James W. 793 

Thomas, C. Yv^ 494 

Thomas, J. H 745 

Thomas, W. J 633 

Thompson, W. B —^ 697 

Tillotson, C. E - '- 706 

ToUe, George W 433 

Torrey, O. E 551 

Turner, Harry 622 

Turner, W. G 537 


Vandeberg, J. E 664 

Van Tuyl, James - 753 

Varner, Ed. C = 824 

Varner, Jessie 563 

Varner, M. E 540 

Vinson, J. W - - 690 


Wagoner, A. D - 616 

Wait, M. A 811 

Waldorf, Samuel 800 

Waldorf, William C 712 

Wallace, D. A '...'. 585 

Walker, J. C 490 

Ward, W. C 798 

Warrender, George 484 

Waterfall, Samuel 606 

Watkins, J. W 438 

Weatherby, Joseph ,,. 855 

Weidlein, Ed -.: 506 

Weidman, Daniel ..., 571 

Welch, D. H 857 

Welch, James T 854 

Wells, John T 520 

Whitecotton, A 454 

Whiteside, Thomas J 773 

Wilcox, N. W 797 

Wilford, Edward - 592 

Williams, J. W. - 813 

Williamson, J. H 738 

Wilson, H. W 525 

Winn, Lester F - 575 

Wolf, Aaron M — - 769 

Worline, Marion 761 

Wright, A. F 677 

Wyant, Ora 614 


Yeager, N. A 524 

Young, Fred H 799 


Zimmerman, I. A 439 


No. 1 

No. 2 

Cor, J 
















































J— ..—.o. 


" ' 

Butler County in 1855 

Oo^w^ l/rtri Sf-Orr ^r-rj-rr,f Co-nfy 

Butler County in 1857-1859 

No. 3 


'"9 ; 

6^ 'If c^^^fy ii^ .eeo 

Butler County in 1860 
No. 5 






Prv f^^/in 




1 t 

0- Ji . 






1 * 















Ooi^at^ l"-'*-J S^Df^ ^n- e r ^irf Cc, ^ n/ft 

Butler County in 1865-66 

No. 4 


"'■'-^■"•'-' e»'f/*f (To*- ■■»./>. /oe/- fc# 

^»»imt0 l.nrr 3Morr /*•■*■•- * ^•"'"'y 

Butler County in 1861-64 

No. 6 

eiif/W Coun^y^/ fireman* £>0/r 

Butler County at Present Date, 1916 



12x26 Miles 

15x22 Miles 


11x22 Miles 


16x34 Miles 






I— I 








History of Butler County 







Butler count)^ was named in honor of Andrew P. Butler, for twelve 
years United States Senator from South Carolina. 

Andrew Pickens Butler lived from 1796 to 1857. He was prominent 
in politics and an active worker for the cause of the South. He served 
in the Legislature in 1824, and was appointed judge of the circuit and 
supreme courts in 1833. In 1846, he was appointed United States Senator 
and served until his death. Senator Butler was attacked with great 
severity by Senator Sumner in his speech, "The Crime Against Kansas." 
Butler was absent from the Senate at the time, but Preston S. Brooks, 
a relative who was present, later mortally assaulted Sumner. 

Senator Butler was a zealous advocate of the right of the South to 
introduce slavery into the Territory of Kansas. The naming of this 
county after an ardent southern s}'mpathizer is an echo of the spirit of 
the times. Manv of the counties of the orio'inal orsfanization were simi- 
larly named, this being the Missouri influence working itself out in the 
"Bogus Legislature." Thus were named Davis, Wise, Lykins, Doug- 
lass, Jefferson, Calhoun, Bourbon, Breckinridge. Franklin. Weller, 
Anderson, Dorn, McGee and Godfrey counties. The names of some of 
these counties were changed in later years, while others still retain the 
original name, as does Butler county. 

Butler, the largest county in area in Kansas, is located in the south- 
ern ])art of tlie State, east of the center, it being in tlie second tier of 
counties from the south line, and in the fifth tier west from the east line 
of the State. 

P»utler county was established in 1855, by the first territorial legis- 
lature, which met at Pawnee, on the Kansas River, 145 miles west of 




Westport, AIo. After its organization the legislative boch' removed to 
the Shawnee Manual Labor School in Johnson county — this school was 
established in 1831. This legislature was known as the "Bogus Legis- 
lature" on account of its being convened and run Ijy men from the State 
of Missouri. 

At this session the territory was divided into thirty-three counties. 
Thus Butler county is one of the original counties created by the first 
legislature of the Territory of Kansas. 

The boundaries of Butler county as defined in the creative act as 
follows: "Beginning at the southeast corner of A\ ise county (the present 
Morris county) ; thence running south thirty miles ; thence west thirty 
miles; thence north thirty miles; thence east thirty miles to the place of 
beginning." This giving the county an original area of 900 square miles. 

The countv at that time was attached to Madison countv for civil 


and military purposes — (see map No. i.) The same legislative act of 
1855 designated the region immediately south of the original Butler, a 
tract thirty miles east and west, and about seventy-eight miles north 
and south, to the southern boundary line of the territory, as Hunter 

In 1857 ^^''6 boundaries were changed by legislative act. This act 


made Butler county consist of a tract thirty miles wide, directly south of 
Wise (Morris) county, extending- southward thirty-eight miles. Hunter 
was made to consist of the section south of Butler to the territorial line. 

On February 11, 1859, Butler county was organized. The legislature 
was then in session at Lecompton, Samuel Medary being governor. 
Governor Medary from Ohio was the ninth, or next to the last territorial 

This act included the organization of \\ ise and Chase counties. 
Chase was made of the region south of \Mse, twenty-four miles by thirty 
miles east and w^est. The fifth standard parallel, near the west branch 
bridge on Xorth Main street. El E>orado, was the south boundary line 
of Butler county. 

Chelsea was then the coimty seat of Butler, while old El Dorado was 
in Hunter county. This first location of El Dorado was south and 
west of the present El Dorado. The original site included what is now 
known as the Royce farm, the C. C. Jamieson farm, the West cemetery, 
and a portion of the land now owned by Mrs. Mary White, mother of ' 
\Wlliam Allen A\'hite. The land was platted but not filed, there being 
no filing office near at that time. 

February 2j, i860, Irving county was made out of the region com- 
mencing where the fifth standard parallel and guide meridian cross, 
between ranges 8 and 9, west thirty-six and north twenty-four miles. 
El Dorado was the temporary county seat. 

On February 24, 1864, the boundaries were once more changed. It 
w^as said an early settler had either to be a surveyor, or employ one 
permanently in order to keep informed of the changes in the boundaries. 
The boundary lines as described by the act of 1864 were as follows : 
Commencing at a point twelve miles west of the present northeast corner 
of Harvey county; thence south to the south line of the State; thence 
east to a point nine miles east of the present southwest corner of Chau- 
tauqua county; thence north to the southeast corner of Chase county; 
thence west twenty-four miles ; then north six miles ; thence west to the 
place of beginning. 

This description covered a strip twelve miles wide on the east side 
of Harvey, Sedgewack and Sumner counties, all of Cowley county, and 
a strip nine miles wide on the w^est side of Chautauqua, Elk and Green- 
wood counties, and three towmships in the southwest corner of Marion 
county. Thus including the territory now^ occupied by Newton. Wichita, 
Belle Plaine, Oxford, Wlnfield, Arkansas City, Cedarvale, Grenola, 
Reece, Burns and Peabody. 

During this period Chelsea was the county seat. Thomas Carney 
was then governor. Governor Carney was the second governor after the 
State was admitted to the Union. 

The act providing that Butler county should include all this territory 
was repealed in 1867. On February 26, of that year, by legislative act 
Butler county was given its present form. 


Jerry D. Connor, prominent early settler, was a member of the legis- 
lature at that time. (See maps 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). 

So that today the county is bounded on the north by Marion and 
Chase counties; on the east by Greenwood and Elk counties; on the 
south by Cowley county, and on the west by Edgwick and Harvey 
counties. A description of its location is as follows : 

Beginning" at the northeast corner of section 4, township 23, range 
8. east of the sixth principal meridian ; thence running west to the north- 
west corner of section 6, township 23, range 3, east ; thence south to the 
southwest corner of section 31, township 29, range 3, east; thence east to 
the southeast corner section 33, township 29, range 8, east ; thence north 
to the place of beginning. 

From north to south it stretches fort3'-two miles, and from east to 
west thirty-four and a half miles; making a total area of nearly 1,000,000 
acres, or 1,440 square miles. 

Butler county is larger than the State of Rhode Island, while its 
arable land amounts to nearly as much as that of two of the smaller 
eastern states. Thus it may well claim its name, the "State of Butler." 

August 23, 1867, Butler county was divided into the townhips of 
Chelsea, El Dorado, Walnut and Towanda. The boundaries given to 
these townships are described as follow^s : 

Chelsea township : Commencing at the northwest corner of section 
19, township 25, range 5; thence east to county line; thence north to 
northeast corner of the county; thence west to range line between ranges 
4 and 5 ; thence south to the beginning. 

El Dorado township : Commencing at the northwest corner of sec- 
tion 19, township 25, range 5; thence south nine miles; thence east six 
miles ; thence south two miles ; thence east fifteen miles to the east line 
of the county ; thence north eleven miles ; thence west twenty-one miles 
to the place of beginning. 

AValnut township : Commencing at the southeast corner of El 
Dorado township ; thence west to the west line of the county (thence 
east to point south of the beginning, omitted from the records) ; thence 
north to the beginning. 

Towanda township : Commencing at the southeast corner of section 
12, township 27. range 4; thence west to the county line; thence north 
to the north line of the county ; thence east to the range line between 
ranges 4 and 5 ; thence south to the place of beginning. 

From these four original townships were drawn the remaining 
townships of the county, they having been divided and subdivided, 
parts added and detached to finally form the twenty-nine townships 
which now comprise the county. 

The names of the townships of Butler county, with the date of 
organization, are given below : 

Augusta township: Organized in 1870 from parts of El Dorado and 
Walnut. In 1872, part detached to form Spring. In 1873, parts de- 


tached to form Bruno and Pleasant. In 1874, parts detached to form 

Benton Township: Organized in 1872 from part of Towanda. 

Bloomington township: Organized in 1874 from parts of Augusta 
and \\^alnut. 

Bruno township: Organized in 1873 from part of Augusta. 

Chelsea township: Organized in 1876 in the original division of the 
county into townships. In 1876, part detached to form Clifford. In 
1878. part detached to form Sycamore. In 1879, parts detached to form 
El Dorado and Lincoln. 

Clay township: Organized in 1879 from part of Walnut. 

Clifford township: Organized in 1876 from parts of Chelsea and 

Douglass township : Organized in 1874 from part of Walnut. 

El Dorado township: Organized in 1867, in the original division 
of the county into townships. Parts detached in 1877 to form Glencoe, 
Little Walnut, Prospect and Rosalia. In 1879, part of Chelsea attached. 

Fairmount township : Organized in 1873 from part of Towanda. 

Fairview township : Organized in 1873 from part of Towanda. 

Glencoe township: Organized in 1877 from parts of El Dorado and 

Hickory township : Organized in 1875 from part of Walnut. 

Lincoln township : Organized in 1879 from part of Chelsea. 

Little A^"alnut township : Organized in 1877 from parts of El Dorado 
and AValnut. 

Logan township : Organized in 1874 from part of Walnut. 

Milton township: Organized in 1873 from part of Towanda. 

Murdock township: Organized in 1873 from part of Towanda. 

Pleasant township : Organized in 1873 fi'om parts of Augusta and 

Plum Grove township : Organized in 1873 from part of Towanda. 

Prospect township : Organized in 1877 from part of El Dorado. 

Richland township: Organized in 1874 from part of Walnut. 

Rock Creek township: Organized in 1879 from part of Walnut. 

Rosalia township: Organized in 1874 from part of El Dorado. 

Spring- township : Organized in 1872 from part of Augusta. 

Sycamore township: Organized in 1867 in the original division of 
the county into townships. Part detached in 1870 to form Augusta. 
Part detached in 1872 to form Benton. Part detached in 1873 to form 
Fairmount, Fairview, Milton, Murdock and Plum Grove. Part detached 
in 1867 to form Clifford. 

Union township: Organized in 1879 from part of Walnut. 

Walnut township: Organized in 1867 in the original division of the 
county into townships. In 1870, part detached to form Augusta. In 
1873, part detached to form Pleasant. In 1874, part detached to form 
Bloomington, Douglass and Richland. In 1875, part detached to form 


Hickory. In 1877, parts detached to form Glencoe and Little Walnut. 
In 1879. parts detached to form Clay, Rock Creek and Union. 

j\Iarch 21, i860, the county was divided into three commissioners 

These districts were to include the territory described in the records 
as follows : 

District Xo. i : Township 22. of ranges 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10; town- 
ship 23, of ranges 6 and 7, and one mile off of the north side of town- 
ship 25, of ranges 6 and 7. 

District No. 2: Townships 23, 24 and 25. of range 5, and five miles 
off of the south side of township 25, of ranges 6 and 7. 

District Xo. 3: Townships 23, 24 and 25, of range 8; townships 23. 
24 and 25, of range 9, and townships 23, 24 and 25, of range 10. 

September 4, 1871, the first division of the county into commis- 
sioners districts by townships was made. According to this division the 
districts were thus designated : 

First district : The townships of Augusta, Towanda and Plum Grove. 

Second district : The townships of El Dorado, Chelsea and Rosalia. 

Third district: The townships of Little Walnut. L'nion. AA'alnut and 

As now constructed the commissioners districts of Butler county 
include the townships as given in the following: 

First district : Union, Hickory, Logan, Clay, Rock Creek, Bloom- 
ington, Spring, Augusta, Walnut, Douglass, P.ichland and Pleasant. 

Second district : Glencoe, Rosalia, Prospect. El Dorado and Little 

Third district : Chelsea, Sycamore, Lincoln, Fairmount, Clifford, 
Milton, Plum Grove, Fairview, Murdock, Benton, Bruno and Towanda. 

Butler county is a confine of almost a million acres of prairie land, 
a considerable portion of which is of rolling character. It has an eleva- 
tion of from 600 to 1,200 feet. The surface ranges from the broad level 
or rolling lands in the western part to broken and rough places in the 
eastern part, with a line of rugged hills on the extreme east border. 
These belong to the range known as the Flint Hills, an irregular, 
picturesque, line of hills, that a man standing on their limestone capped 
summit, inhaling Kansas ozone, and surveying the peace and wealth 
of the valleys, holds his head a little higher and breathes a little deeper 
in pride of home and possessions in Butler county. 

There is very little waste land as the soil is fertile and productive, 
heavier or deeper on the bottom lands and is adapted to the growth of 
almost every variety of grain and fruit. The river and creek bottoms 
comprise about one-fifth of the area and range from a mile to two miles 
in width. 

The timber is confined to the bottom lands along the streams, vary- 
ing from a few rods to a mile in width. The trees native to the county 
are the oak, cottonwood, walnut, hackberry. white hickory, sycamore, 
elm, mulberry and some scattering varieties. 



The ])rincipal streams are the \\'ahiut and the W'liitewater. The 
Walnut rises in the northeast corner of the county, llie Whitewater 
traverses the county from the northwest, flowing into the Walnut at 
Augusta. These streams have many smaller tributaries. The principal 
ones are the West Branch. Little Walnut, Bemis, Bird, Cole, Dureckon. 
Eight-AIile, !Muddy, Satchel and Turkey creeks, tributaries to the Wal- 
nut ; and the ^^'est Branch, Elm, Dry. Diamond. Four-Mile, Rock, Went- 

,' ^ ^ ..g^ ^^ ^ 



worth and Bakers creeks, tril)utaries to the Whitewater. These streams 
and tributaries make Butler one of the finest watered counties in Kansas. 

Corn, oats, rye, winter wheat, feterita, kafir corn, sorghum, alfalfa 
and prairie hay are the crops grown. The county ranks first in acreage 
and value of the four latter named. 

The large pastures in the eastern i)art of the county make live stock 
raising of importance. These pastures contain some of the finest cattle 
in the world. Also at the present time, Butler county leads the State 
in numbers and \alue of animals sold for slauuhter. 


Fruit growing receives more or less attention over the county, there 
being now planted several hundred thousand trees of fruit-bearing age. 
An abundance of limestone is found in the soil of this county. This has 
been quarried extensively and large quantities of stone have been shipped 
to various places. 

At first, fences, usually rail, laid without nails, were placed around 
crops in small fields. 

In 1871, what is known as the "Herd" law was enacted. This was 
adopted in this county at an election in April, 1871. The election resulted 
in 569 in favor of the adoption of the law, and 504 against. Martin 
Vaught, B. T. Rice and Neil Wilkie were the county commissioners 
at that time. 

The law was designed to cause cattle men to fence or herd their 
stock — this instead of the farmer fencing his crops. 

The law met with considerable opposition, especially from those who 
had some fencing on their farms and who had been turning their stock 
out to graze, letting them go until wanted. 

By this time there were quite a number of settlers on the uplands. 
These had no fencing material and no means of securing any. The}' 
could look after their stock more easily than they could fence their crops. 
And so came the need for the "Herd" law. 

This law has never been repealed. It is, of course, without resistence 
in the present day. 

After the law was enacted hedges began to be planted and fences 
were started in that manner. The selling of hedge plants, with wonder- 
ful guarantees of growth, became a popular industry at this time. 

While the hedges were growing into lawful fences recourse was had 
to rope. Stock of all kinds was "lariated." that is, tied to the end of 
about fifty feet of rope, the other end being fastened to a picket pin 
which was driven into the ground. Picket pins in those days were a 
staple article of trade in all stores. They were made with a swivel, to 
which was attached the rope, and so prevent twisting. Rope was pur- 
chased by the carload by the merchant, and bought by the coil by the 

It was not an uncommon thing to see children, chickens, pigs, cows 
and horses attached, each to one end of a lariat, wnth a picket pin holding 
securely the other end. Sometimes a picket pin would disappear — and 
also a horse likewise. 

As time passed on the hedges grew to serve the purpose of their 
planting. These hedge fences were undoubtedly of some benefit to the 
early Kansas farmer. They served not only as pasture enclosures, but 
were a protection to the treeless, wind-sw^ept prairies. Later the hedge 
fence came to be regarded as more or less undesirable, and in late years 
has been largely cut down. 

After the hedge fence came the barbed wire, which is now in uni- 
versal use, and on which the farmer of today depends in the management 
of his broad pastures and many cattle. 



By Bill J. Martin. 




My friend, Judge V. P. Mooney, has asked me to write a little ar- 
ticle on the archaeology of Butler county, Kansas, for his forthcoming 
"History of Butler County." All I can do is to tell a little of prehistoric 
man in this territory, by the footprints he has left in and on the soil of 
this noble country. These ancient men were the ancestors of those found 
in this land at the dawn of historic time. What kind of men were here 
when Coronado made his memorable advance into Kansas in the year 
1541, in search of gold? He met the Indians of the provinces of Ouivira 
and Harahey, but found no gold. The Indians had represented Ouivira 
to be a land of fabulous wealth, and when the Spaniards found no gold 
or silver forthcoming they strangled the poor "Turk," the Indian guide. 
They had made mistakes all around. The Spaniards came to Kansas 
too soon, and the Indans should have brought them to the region now 
known as Butler county, which is the real "land of gold," for the gold 
can be had through the medium of corn, alfalfa and wheat, cattle, horses 
and hogs, poultry and kafir, fruit and eggs, and gas and oil. The State 
of Butler is as grand and productive a country as the sun ever shown 
upon. A writer has said that "God could have made a better country, 
iDut that he never did." The Ouivirans, whom Coronado met in 1541, 
were the ancestors of the modern Pawnee Indians, and the History of 
Kansas by Clara H. Hazelrigg says that there were three other native 
tribes, the Kansa, Osage and Padoucas. George P. Morehouse, of To- 
peka, said : "The earliest recorded accounts represent the Kansa tribe 
as owner of that imperial pasture now called Kansas. Here the Kansa 
were born, had lived, acted, and passed on for many generations. Here 
they had hunted, fished, and fought ; here was their home. AX'hat an 
empire, to these first native sons of Kansas? Its am])le sustaining 
resources were on every hand, the secrets of nature, from the wooded 




Streams and rich bottom lands of tlie Missouri border, to the vast tree- 
less areas of the great plains, all teeming with game of every character, 
were to them revealed as an inspiration and an open book." 

What caused the Indian to leave Butler county and other parts of 
Kansas? Was he essentially a bad man? No. The whites have always 
wanted his o-ood lands, and he was compelled to step down and out. 
Here is what Frederick S. Dellenbaugh said of Indian character: "He 
(the Indian) loved his home, his family, as constituted by his social 
regulations, and his children. As to honesty and dishonesty, the balance 
was certainly not far from even, average for average, if an3'thing, the 
Indian had more respect for the ideals of his race than was the case 
of the white man with reference to his." 


Washington Irving said of the Indians' fall : "Civilized society 
has advanced upon them like one of those withering airs that will some- 
times breathe desolation over a whole region of fertility, it has enervated 
their strength, multiplied their diseases, and superinduced upon their 
original barbarity the low vices of artificial life." 

From what I know of the demoralization of the historic Indian, I 
think the prehistoric Red Man of Butler county was probably a man of 
as good character as the average white man. In the literature pertaining 
to Kansas I find very little mention made of Butler county. The travel 
from east to west was north and south of this county. In a map in 
Vol. 9, Kansas Historical Collections, I find two trails marked, the 
California trail from southeast corner, to the northwest corner of the 
county, and the Osage trail to the Arkansas river across the center of 


the county from east to west. Bellin's map of Louisiana of 1744 says 
the country of the Kansa Indians extended from the Missouri river al- 
most to the mountains. Some have said that Butler county was never 
inhabited by sedentary tribes of Indians, but I think otherwise, as I have 
explored a good deal of the southern half of the county, and have found 
much evidence of settled prehistoric occupation, in the valleys of Big 
Walnut, Little Walnut, Hickory, Picayune, Mephitis Americana and 
other creeks. I have in my collection of ancient Indian relics numbers 
of the following implements and weapons : Metates, mano stones, whet- 
stones, rubbing stones, grinding stones, boiling stones, hammer stones, 
cup stones, anvil stones, stone mauls, arrow shaft rubbers, stone axes, 
flint spades and hoes, celts, spears, arrows, perforators, drills, whole 
pipes, pieces of pipes, blocks of catlinite (pipe material), flint flakes of 
many colors, flint knives, discs and pieces of broken pottery of many 
different kinds. William Bass, who lives near Pontiac, has perhaps as 
varied an assortment as mine, including flint fish hooks, something I 
have never found. All of the artifacts mentioned, with the manufactures 
of wood, bark, reeds, fibers, sinews, hides, bones, shell, horn, hair, 
feathers and other perishable materials, prove that the ancient man of 
Butler county was a very industrious person indeed. His wife also was 
always at work, tanning hides, moulding pottery, working in her garden, 
cooking and manufacturing the first breakfast foods, hominy and suc- 
cotash. There are village and camp sites on Hickory creek, on the Steb- 
bins ranch, Wellington Sowers ranch, J. C. Getter ranch, Mrs. Benning- 
hoff's farm, H. M. Cotton farm, Pattison ranch. Brown ranch, Mrs. Noe's 
farm, J. Ellis farm, William Morti ranch and others. On Little Walnut 
creek, B. F. Yates' farm, Hon. F. Leidy's farm, L. Boelner's farm, Nunes' 
ranch, F. M. Tabing's farm, Bear ranch, the Marshall Bros, farms, 
the Dilts and Discon farms, and Joel Parker's farm. On Picayune creek, 
on the B. F. Rickey farm, and on Mephitis Americana creek, on farm of 
F. M. Tabing. I presume there are many more places where our red 
friends lived, and loved, and worked, and sung, and danced, in the days 
of long ago. On a farm on the Big Walnut river, once known as the 
Hazelhurst place, now owned by Mr. Taylor, there is an ancient village 
site about a mile long, which must have once been covered with many 
lodges ; the ground is full of scrapers, chips of flint and pottery sherds. 
My friend, the late Hon. James R. Mead, of Wichita, expressed the 
opinion that Butler county was a most desirable place of residence for 
the aborigine, on account of its numberless creeks and springs, and the 
purity of its waters. Alas ! that the Kansa should have ever exchanged 
this excellent beverage for piejene (firewater). The Kansa nation had 
a tradition that prior to the year 1500 their home was near the sea of 
the rising sun. There is no tradition about the fact that the sun of their 
destiny is almost set, as in 1907 there were only seventy full-bloods left 
alive. May the ashes of those who have departed to the Happy Hunting 
Grounds rest in peace. Butler county must have been a good location 



for the man of the Age of Stone, as there is much blue-gray chert or 
flint, and on Hickory creek there is an abundance of flint nodules of 
all shapes, from the size of a nutmeg to as large as a man's head, all 
suitable for the making of flint hardware. Prior to the coming of the 
paleface the countless herds of Buffalo roamed at will over the prairies. 
Their bones and teeth are found on campsites on the bottom lands. I 
have never seen but one whole earthen vessel of Indian manufacture 
found on this territory. It was a bowl found by Edward Steffen on the 
Steffen ranch, on Hickory creek, and is now in my collection. The rea- 
son that all the pottery is found broken, was that when a Kansa lost his 
wife by death he would give away or destroy her cooking utensils as a 
mark of respect. In these days we sometimes hear of men smashing 
the dishes, not on account of any disrespect to their wives, but on account 
of the exceedingly bad quality of the booze. I presume that in pre- 
historic times the dog was much used as a beast of burden. In the year 
of 1724 M. DeBourgmont, a French military commandant, on the Mis- 


souri headed a booster trip to the Comanches, to gain their friendship 
and their trade. On July 7, 1724, he arrived at the Kansa village on the 
Kansas river, and on July 24 was accompanied by the following numbers 
of Kansa boosters: "Three hundred warriors, two grand chiefs and 
fourteen war chiefs, 300 squaws, 500 Indian children, and 500 dogs loaded 
down with baggage and provisions." 

Verily, I say unto you that this was a great dog-trot of 191 years 
It is needless to say the expedition was a grand success, as any 



proposition backed up by Kansas men could not be otherwise. It has 
sometimes been said that the ancient inhabitants of Butler territory 
were non-agriculturists, but I think the stone mills, spades and hoes 
found on the grounds prove that they were farmers to some extent. The 
ancient Indian, enjoying superb physical and mental health, was a keen 
observer of all the details of nature. In his raml:)les in pursuit of game 
and other travels he never failed to note strange' and curious stones and 
take them to his home for further examination, and to see if they could 
be made into implements, by either flaking, pecking or grinding. He 
also knew much more about botany than many of Dr. White's garden- 
grangers ever learned. (I think Dr. White organized the garden- 
grangers along some time in the seventies). The Kansa had more re- 
ligion that most of us, as he connected every mystery in nature with 
his God, the Great Mahitou. In my collection of relics are many so- 
called cupstones. They are flat stones of flint and limestone, with from 
one to six or more small saucer-shaped depressions on one or both sides. 
Some scientists think they were for cracking nuts ; others, that they were 
for making fire by revolution and friction of a stick of wood in the 
cavities, and as, the cavity, when worn too deep, would not work, a new 
cavity had to be made. I adhere to the fire theory for these reasons : 
The flint blocks have but one cavity, not being worn out like the soft 
limestone, and some of the limestone blocks have the cavities so near 
the edge that a blow hard enough to crack a black walnut would smash 
the block to pieces. I have a big stone sledge made of a mountain rock, 
which had been broken in two. One part of this tool was found by the 
late H. H. Marshall on his farm, the other was found by my son, Louis 
H. Martin, on the farm of the late Charles Tabing. There are two kinds 
of implements peculiar to this Buffalo country, they are flint scrapers 
and four-edged flint knives. The scrapers were used in preparing hides 
for the tanning process ; the four-edged knife is of a long diamond shape, 
and they are generally very finely chipped. 

I have in my collection a piece of iron ore, which had evidently been 
used as a source of paint, it w^as found on Hickory creek. Some Indian 
had fancifully carved on it the face of an otter or some other animal. 

W. K. Moorehead, author of "Prehistoric Implements," says on page 
66: "Taking Manhattan, Kan., as a center, and drawing a circle fifty 
miles in diameter, an archaeologist will find a local culture somewhat 
higher than the average plains tribes attained elsewhere. Primarily, 
they depended on the buffalo, but they also were agriculturists, although 
on a small scale." I would take the lil^erty of extending this area at 
least fifty miles farther to the south of Manhattan, so as to include this 
g'reat land of Butler, as I have objects in my collection which show abso- 
lute perfection in the arts of chipping, grinding, and pecking stone into 
fine implements. The writer of the foregoing sketch has lived in Butler 
county for forty-five years, and is ])rofoundly in love with its people, 
its soil, its trees and its grass, its ri\ers and its rocks, its sunshine and 


its flowers, its past history and its present and future prospects. I have 
often described it to my friends as a paradise in the center of the United 
States, and that it really is the heart of the world. Some of these friends 
sometimes dispute this statement, that Butler county is the cener of the 
Unied States, then W. J. M. comes back with the rejoinder, that there are 
some rock-ribbed hills on the Atlantic shore, and some sandy stretches 
on the Pacific which we do not count, and that Butler county is indeed 
the center of the great United States and the heart of the world. 






First settler: William Hildebrande, settled in what is now El Dorado 
township, in Ma}^ 1857. 

First births : Henry Jefferson, 1857, near Chelsea ; now deceased. 
]\Irs. Addie Cowley-Bradley, Alay 4, 1858, El Dorado township. Mrs. 
Bradley is the wife of W. P. Bradley, of El Dorado, and has the distinc- 
tion of being the oldest living' native child of Butler county. 

First marriages : Jacob E. Chase and Augusta Stewart, El Dorado 
township, January, 1859. Berg Atwood and Elizabeth Badley, Towanda 
township, 1859. 

First postoffices: Chelsea. 1858; C. S. Lambdin. postmaster. El 
Dorado, i860; D. L. McCabe, postmaster. 

First stores : Old El Dorado, 1857; grocery, by Mr. Howland. Chelsea, 
1859; country store, by Mr. Kaufman. 

First schools: Chelsea township, i860, district No. i; taught by 
Sarah Satchel. El Dorado township, 1861 ; first school house built by 
subscription of settlers, afterw^ards purchased by district No. 2. 

First religious services : Chelsea township, house of J. C. Lambdin ; 
Rev. C. G. Morse, Congregationalist, from Emporia, preacher. 

First resident preacher: Rev. Winbery, Baptist, 1858; no church 

First church organized : El Dorado, Presbyterian ; building com- 
menced in 1872, not completed until 1877. 

First Sunday school : Chelsea, 1859, Minnie Post and ^Maggie 
Vaught, teachers 

First newspaper : Walnut Valley Times, March 4, 1870. 

First railroad: El Dorado and Walnut Valley (Sante Fe System); 
track completed to El Dorado, July 31, 1877, 6:27 p. m. 

The following are the first events to be put on record in the county: 
First Recorded Marriage — Butler county, in the State of Kansas, August 
26, 1861. I hereby certify that I did celebrate the rites of matrimony 



and solemnize the same between J. D. P. Goodall and Elizabeth Cooper, 
on the eleventh day of August, in the year 1861, in the county of Butler, 
and State of Kansas, both parties being residents of the county and State 
aforesaid. J. E. Mayfield, 

An ordained minister of the Gospel. 

Since this time, the records, show 7,500 marriage licenses have been 

First will admitted to probate: Ambrose Muller, filed March 13, 
'^^73- Joseph Carr and A. L. L. Hamilton, witnesses. Probated by Judge 

First administrator appointed: Martin V^aught, June 21, 1867, ap- 
pointed administrator of the estate of Alfred G. Brown, deceased. 

■■■■—-■■■ - . - . - - .... ^ 


. ■ 




First application for sale of school lands: July 17, 1867, James R. 
Mead files application for right to purchase the S. E. ^ of the N. W. j4 
of Sec. 16, Twp. 26, R. 4 East. W. W . Slayton, \\^illiam Hanley and 

' Bailey appointed appraisers and land sold to James R. Meade at 

$3 per acre. 

First guardian : October 8, 1867, J. D. Conner appointed guardian 
of Martha G. and Mary H. Atwood, minor heirs of Bige A\\ and Eliza- 
beth Atwood, deceased. 

First complaint for insanity: Filed April 28, 1864, by Henry Alartin, 
J. P., alleging one E. E. Lower was mad or insane. A jury of twelve 
was called. Lower declared insane and sent to state hospital. 

First writ of habeas corpus : Issued February 18. 1869, directed to 
Captain S. L. Barr for the unlawful detention of D. E. Golia and Phil 
Ledvick in military camp at Wichita. 

Change of mind : One day in 1869, one Roda Eckley filed applica- 
tion in usual form to be appointed administrator of estate of James 


Eckley, deceased. Upon this application appears the following endorse- 
ment : "After giving- me much trouble, Mrs. Eckley concluded not to 
take out letter of administration." 
Costs not paid. A\'illiam Harrison, Probate Judge. 

Apprentice: March 28, 1870, agreement filed in probate court: "I, 
Elisha Main, do indenture my daughter, Amanda M. Main, to Edwin 
Cowles until she arrive at the age of 18 years, which will be Jnly 2, A. D., 
1876. Said Cowles to care for, clothe her respectably and give her board 
in his family and give her a good common school education." 

First criminal action: Brought April, 1866. The State of Kansas vs. 
Joseph Smith and Oliver C. Link on charge of burglary. Verdict, not 
guilty as to Smith, and action dismissed as to Link. 

First civil action: Brought April, 1866. James Thomas vs. J. B. 
McCabe for replevin of property ; district court. First convened Jnly, 

1866. J. M. Watson, judge; Henry Imel, clerk; both of Cottonwood 
Falls ; W. D. Show, sheriff^ 

First jury: Joseph Adams, William Thomas, James Craft, T. W. 
Satchell, John Bishop, Edward Jenkins, P. P. Johnson and Dr. Lewellyn. 
The following did not answer to their names: A\'. A. Badley, Wliliam 
Towsley, A. P. Alexander, and for good and sufficient reasons were ex- 

First divorce : Nannie Edwards vs. James Edwards, W. T. Galliger, 
attorney ; cause, failure to provide. 

First conveyance: George W. Birch and Sarah Birch to P. G. D. 
Morton. In consideration of $50, one house, 13x16, and three lots, two 
of which the house stands and the other some one of the business lots 
as platted on towm plat of Chelsea, being the same house in which said 
Birch now resides and said lots being the same promised to said Birch 
for building said house in and standing on the south half of the south- 
east quarter of section 28, township 24, range 6, in Butler county terri- 
tory of Kansas. Both parties signed by "x" mark, acknowledged be- 
fore J. R. Lambdin, clerk of the court. 

First mortgage: August 9, i860. Dr. Lewellyn to Eliazer Fullin- 
wider, of Montgomery county, Indiana, for $190. secured by mortgage 
on east half of the southwest quarter of the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section 8, township 25, range 6, in Butler county territory of 
Kansas. In consideration of the payment of $340 this mortgage is 
hereby released September 9, 1865. (Note the rate of interest). 

All meetings of the county commissioners prior to 1867 were held at 
Chelsea, generally at the residence of the county clerk. On January 7, 

1867. the l)oard of commissioners, consisting of D. Lewellyn, S. Stewart 
and James R. Meade, met at the office of the county clerk at the junc- 
tion of A\Iiitewater. (Where is it?) "By order of the board, an election 
l)recincl is hereby established at the school liouse at the junction of 
Whitewater. Chelsea townshi]), Butler countv, and there shall be elected 




three justices of the peace and three constables in the township of 
Chelsea, Butler county, Kansas. 

The first meeting of the board of county commissioners held in the 
city of El Dorado was on July i, 1867, and its meetings have been held 
there ever since. Two voting precincts were established in Walnut 
township, one at or near the junction of Whitewater and Walnut, and 
the other at or near the junction of Little ^^'alnut and Big Walnut. 
"Towanda township shall have two voting precincts, one near Towanda 
and the other near ]. Adams, on Whitewater. 

Hf j -t fjif ■ / '»gMM flg y ^ '?e a a; 


HI *'* 


"One voting precinct in Chelsea township, which shall be at or near 
the center of the township as practicable. 

"One voting precinct in El Dorado township, which shall l^e at or 
near to El Dorado as possible." 

The following events are shown by the first records : First meeting 
of the board of county commissioners : Saturday, April 30, 1859, at the 
house of G. T. Donaldson, Chelsea township. A meeting of the county 
commissioners was held for the purpose of establishing officers for the 
county offices, P. G. Barrett, chairman ; G. T. Donaldson and J. S. 
White, commissioners. The county commissioners were ordered to 
meet at Chelsea hall. The other county officers were ordered to keep 
their officers at their own dwellings, except the clerk of probate, who 
shall keep his at the residence of J. D. Lambdin. (This presumably on 
account of aforesaid officer being a bachelor). June 13, 1859, ^^ a special 
meeting of the board, P. G. D. Morton was appointed assessor of Chelsea 
township and also county auditor. 

The first tax levied : August 20, 1859, a PoU tax was levied of $1 per 
every male citizen 21 years of age and under 45. G. T. Donaldson was 
authorized to furnish three ballot boxes for the annual election to be held 
in October, also paper, pens and ink. 


County divided into three commissioners districts — March 21, i860, 
the county was divided into three commissioners districts. (See under 
boundaries). It was also ordered that an election precinct be established 
called Toronto precinct, the election to be held at the residence of Dr. 

First road (petition for) : April 3, 1861, commencing- near the south- 
west corner of section 36, township 25, range 5 ; thence via Chelsea and 
Sycamore Springs to north line of Butler county; also commencing on 
the east line of Butler county, near section 12, township 25; running west 
via *New Salem and Chelsea to west line of the count\' in tlie direction 
of ^Whitewater City. *Lost locations. 

First county warrant : January 19, 1864, warrant issued for the sum 
of $20 in favor of Jordon Mabe, for assessing the county. (The names 
of none of the officers appear on the record. It is signed, however, by 
William R. Lambdin, clerk). Warrant No. 2 issued in favor of M. 
Vaught for the sum of $10 to be used for furnishing books and stationery 
for the county. 

March 26, 1864, voting precincts were established at El Dorado and 

First election for county seat: May 21, 1864, election held; El 
Dorado, having received the highest number of votes cast, was declared 
the county seat of Butler county; 

July 4, 1864, the following, among other proceedings, were held : 

"Resolved, That whereas the county seat has been removed to El 
Dorado and there is not any building which can be procured for the 
county officers, the board resolved not to remove." April 3, 1865, the 
county board met at 9 o'clock. Present — Dr. Lewellyn : "Whereas, a 
vacancy has occurred in the office of commissioners of Butler county by 
the removal of S. P. Johnson and H. B. Bronson from the county. Jo- 
seph H. Adamson and Squire Stewart was appointed by said board to 
fill said vacancies." April 3, 1866, among other proceedings : "The board 
proceeded to examine the books of the late treasurer. T. W. Satchell, 
and found them behind $139.87. It was ordered that the clerk institute 
a suit for the recovery of the same. (It is said, and generally believed, 
that the reason of the books being behind was that the treasurer carried 
his records as treasurer in his hat, and that in plowing one day his hat 
blew off and the records were plowed under ; but while plowing the next 
year, they were resurrected by the same plow and the account was 
brought from "behind" and placed "before") — ^and on October i, 1866, 
the board rescinded the order for the clerk to institute suit. January 7, 
1867, a petition was presented by Samuel Langdon for license to sell 
liquor in Butler county. (No further records). By order of the board. 
Mattison White was considered on the county as a county charge. Ajiril 
I, 1867, the county commissioners met at the office of the county clerk, 
A. J. Donahoo. at the junction of the Whitewater. July 2, 1867, the first 
petition for the sale of school land was filed. (Xo further record). 


August 23, 1867, the county was divided into the townships of Chelsea, 
El Dorado, ^^'alnut and Towanda. (See under boundaries). Ordered that 
the first election in said townships be held on November 5, 1867, for 
the election of township officers in El Dorado. Towanda and Walnut 
townships. October, 1867, the count}' house was rented to A. H. Mar- 
shall, at $8 per month. "He is to give possession when same is needed 
for court or public business." The county clerk was also ordered "to 
employ some person to chink and daub the county house in a workman- 
like manner; daub up with lime and sand, and also ceiled overhead." 

November 5, 1867, the first election of townships officers was held in 
El Dorado, Towanda and A\"alnut townships. At this election : El Dorado 
township, for justice of the peace: D. L. McCabe had 12 votes and A. H. 
Morehead had 11 votes. Eor constable: J. H. Taylor had 5 votes. Elex 
Petrie had 2 votes, C. S. Harrison had i vote and William Harrison had 
4 votes. 

Towanda township: J- R. A\'entworth had 6 votes for justice of the 
peace, Amos Adams had 7 votes for constable and John ^^". Jones had 7 
votes for trustee. 

Walnut township : Peter Harpool had 7 votes for justice of the peace 
and Benton Kramer had 7 votes for constable. At this same election cer- 
tain proposed amendments to the State constitution were voted upon : 
For striking out the word male from Section I, article 5 of the constitu- 
tion, there were cast in the county, 28 votes in favor of the proposition 
and 76 votes against the same. This was the first vote of woman's suf- 
frage in the county and in the State. The measure was defeated in the 
State by a vote of 9,070 for to 19.857 against. The amendment for strik- 
ing out the word white from the constitution received t,3 votes for and 
70 against. This amendment was defeated in the state by a vote of 
10,483 for to 19.241 against. For the amendment of article 2, section 5 
of the constitution, restoring election franchises to loyal citizens, there 
were 39 votes in favor of same and 64 against. The submitting of these 
amendments was an attempt to change the organic law of the State, but 
each of the amendments failed at this election. April, 1868, it was re- 
solved to rent the court house to S. Langdon for a few^ weeks, "he to 
furnish a building as good as said court house for holding court in, if he 
should not move out." October 5, 1868, Thomas J. Robinson presented a 
petition to the board for a license to keep a dram shop. There not being- 
enough names on the petition said license was not granted. November, 
1868, Archibald Ellis, one of the commissioners, ordered the clerk to 
enter his protest again canvassing the votes of Sedgwick county. Same 
meeting — The board investigated the accounts of the county treasurer 
and found a difference against the county treasurer of approximately 
$3.45. They found, generally, that the accounts of the county treasurer 
ha^'e been kept in an unsatisfactory manner and recommended more care 
and clearness on his part hereafter. July. 5, 1869. John Jones was ap- 
]iointed assessor for Cowlev county and Dr. Lewell}n was appointed as- 


sessor fi)r Sedgwick county, they being" attached to lUitlcr county for 
judicial purposes. April 3. 1871. W. P. Campbell presented a petition, 
signed by himself, protesting against any lawyer occupying an office in 
the court house. Thereupon the board adjourned. 

First assessment : The first assessment of the county, under its pres- 
ent dimensions, was in 1867, prior to the division of the county into town- 
ships, the assessment being made by the county assessor. The real estate 
valuation and the tax collected therefrom came, principally, from non- 
rsidents, who had located land warrants or script on certain lands and 
receiving patents therefor from the government and thus subjecting 
such lands to taxation. There were 29,700 acres of land assessed in 
Butler county for the year 1867. The heaviest tax payer on real estate 
was a party by the name of A. E. Lawrence, who owned at that time 
22,100 acres of the 29,700 assessed. This land, presumably, cost him 
from twelve and one-half cents to twenty-five cents per acre. The party 
paying the largest amount of tax on personal property was G. T. Donald- 
son, who paid on a valuation of $5,290. The total value of the real estate 
for the year was $50,987, and the personal property $60,728.90. The total 
tax levied for the year was $2,997.88, of which $45 was collected as a tax 
on dogs. The taxes were divided as follows : State tax, $566 ; county tax, 
$1,724.60; school tax, teachers, $416.81 ; buildings, $290.47. Seven school 
districts received the benefit. 

In this year, 1916, there were 915,052 acres of land, assessed at a 
valuation of $32,000,000. The personal property of the county is valued 
at $18,791,865. The taxes levied for the year amount to the sum of 








El Dorado, on its original site 
south of the present El Dorado, was 
first the county seat of Hunter coun- 
ty and later, upon its organization, 
of Irving' county. The county, as it 
were, having slipped from under it. 
the location of the town remaining 
the same. At this time Butler coun- 
ty extended only so far south as the 
fifth standard parallel. Chelsea was 
named as the county seat of Butler 
county by common consent of the 
settlers. This was upon the organization of the county in 1859, Chelsea 
remaining the county seat until 1864, after the county had been changed 
to its present boundaries. 

On yiay 21, 1864, an election was held, and El Dorado was selected 
as the county seat — (this was the old town on the Clarence King farm). 
There being, however, no buildings available, the commissioners refused 
to move. July 2, 1867, occurred the second county seat election. White- 
w^ater Junction received 2 votes, Coimty Center received 6 votes, north- 
west quarter of section 9, township 25, range 6, received 29 votes, and 
El Dorado, on section 2, township 26, range 5, received 50 votes. El 
Dorado was declared the county seat and the offices were moved there. 
The county seats of the early days were considerably on wheels, but as the 
principal business was the voting on county seat locations, the difference 
was not material. The next election was called April 4, 1870, for the 
removal of the county seat from El Dorado to Chelsea. This election 
was held May 9, 1870, Chelsea receiving 256 votes and El Dorado 524 
votes. On May 21, of the same year, an eleci:ion was called for June 27, 
1870, for the purpose of voting $82,500 for bonds for the erection of 



county ])uildings. This proposition was defeated by a vote of 239 for to 
550 against, and no county bonds have ever been voted. 

The first real court house was built of stone on the corner lot facing 
Central avenue and extending south along Gordy street, this being the 
northeast corner of the block on which the present court house stands. 
July 19, 1870, Henry and C. C. Martin deeded the original site of the 
court house to the county. A number of citizens offered subscription to 
the amount of $2,455 to assist in building a court house, provided the 
commissioners would proceed at once to erect a suitable building and 
pa}' the rest of the cost. On September 5, 1870, the commissioners ac- 
cepted the proposition of the citizens. The original document showing 
the offer of one-half the cost of construction by the El Dorado business 
men of the early day is of a great deal of interest. The reading of the 
old doctiment, with the names of those signing and the amount of dona- 
tions made, are as follows : In consideration of the board of county com- 
missioners of Butler county, Kansas, proceeding at once to award a con- 
tract for building a court house and jail at El Dorado and appropriating 
from the revenues of said county such sum of money as they may law- 
fully do, said revenues to be increases by the maximum levy of taxes 
provided by law, we do individually bind ourselves to pay to said county 
commissioners the sums set opposite our respective names to enable 
them, with the revenue aforesaid, that may be appropriated for that pur- 
pose and the money received by this obligation, to build and complete 
said building as soon as possible. And we do bind ourselves to pay one- 
half of said sums of money when said commissioners shall award said 
contract and the remaining one-half when the walls of said building are 
erected and the floors laid in the same. Witness our hands and seals 
this twenty-fourth day of August, 1870: 

Allen Vhite, $150; J. C. Lambdin & Son, $200; Alfred W. Ellet, 
$100; T. G. Boswell, $200; H. T. Summer, $100; J. P. Gordon, $100; 
Knowlton & Ellett, $100; T. R. Pittock, $100; D. M. Bronson, $100; E. 
L. Lower, $200; B. F. Gordy, $100; S. P. Barnes, $100; John S. Friend, 
$100; Henry Martin, $200; James Gordon, $100; Henry Small, $100; L. S. 
Friend, $100; James R. Mead, $100; A. M. Burdett, $50; Betts & Frazier, 
$50; J. C. Fraker, $50; Meyer & Bolte, $15; J. S. Danford, $40; total, 
$2,455. Bonds, etc., follow subscription list. Commissioners signing 
contract, M. A. Palmer and Martin Vaught. 

October 10, 1870, a contract was entered into with Isaac N. Branson 
to build a temporary county building-court house and jail at a cost of 
$6,000, the building to be 25x50 feet and two stories high. The total 
amount paid by the city was $2,500 and the amount to be paid by the 
commissioners was $3,750. This was the east third of the old court 
house used before the present new building. S. C. Fulton, M. A. Palmer 
and M. Vaught were the commissioners at that time. November ii, 
1870, it was ordered that A. Ellis, county ti'easurer, sell the did log court 


When the building was nearing completion a petition was presented 
to the commissioners asking for another election for the removal of the 
county seat to Augusta. This was entered in the records as follows: 
"March 6, 1871, special meeting. Petition presented by Judge Lauck for 
the removal of the county seat from El Dorado to Augusta. Election 
ordered for April, 1871." ( Xo further record of this election). In April, 
1871, the building was completed and occupied. The petition for the 
next election and the election are shown in the records as given below : 
February 16. 1872 — "A petition asking for the re-location of the county 
seat was presented and laid over until the next session." April i, 1872 — 
The board at its last meeting submitted the construction of section 4, 
chapter 26, general statutes of 1868, to the attorney general, and, in 
order to get his opinion before they acted, laid the petition presented by 
the citizens of Augusta, asking for an election to locate the cotinty seat, 
over until their next (present) meeting. The attorney general declined 
to give an opinion for the reason that the question was then pending in 
the supreme court of the State, and the petition is now^ laid over until 
after said court has rendered its decision. April 23, 1872 — "The petition 
for the removal and re-location of the county seat, presented on the 
fifteenth day of Eebruary, 1872, and laid over, was again presented and 
an election ordered to be held June i, 1872." 

June 9, 1872 — "The board met for the purpose of canvassing the 
votes cast at the county seat election, held on the first day of Jtuie, 1872. 
The board being restrained by an order of the district court, of this 
county, in a suit against the board of county commissioners by ^^^ P. 
Gossard and L. B. Snow, from canvassing said votes and declaring the 
result thereof, and by reason thereof the canvassing of said votes was 
postponed imtil the court should dissolve said order." The records of 
the district court show on a hearing on motion filed by the defendants, 
that the injunction was by the court dissolved. \Miereupon the plaintiffs 
appealed to the stipreme court, entering into bonds in the sums of 
$10,000. The injunction was held until after the hearing in the supreme 
court. The supreme court held, tenth Kansas report, page 163, that an 
election for the re-location of a county seat must be held within fifty days 
after the presentation of the petition therefor, or it is void, and ordered 
the district court to reverse its order refusing a temporary injunction. 

July 20, 1875 — "Ordered that the county clerk advertise for bids for 
repairing the court house." 

Second wing built : On July 20, 1875, E. B. Brainerd, E. AV. Clifford 
and J. A. McGinnis, county commissioners, were presented with a pe- 
tition asking them to repair and enlarge the court house. The commis- 
sioners, having several thousand dollars surplus in the treasury, decided 
to appropriate the amount of money necessary to make repairs and build 
a new wing on the west, said wing to contain a jail. The contract was 
let to E. B. Snow, September 13, 1875, for $8,000, and the building was 
completed early in 1876. Thus the second one-third of the old building 



was built. In 1890. the board of county commissioners decided that the 
court house was dangerous to the officers and citizens, was insecure for 
the safety of the records, and, by permission of the city council, all of the 
offices were moved to the city building-, except the clerk of the court, 
which was located in the I. C. Thomas building, and the court room, 
which was located in the old Methodist church. The third story of the 
city building- was finished in 1891, when the clerk of the court and court 
room were moved thereto. January 30, 1895 — "County clerk was ordered 
to advertise for bids for repairing court house." February 22, 1895 — 
"Board met to consider bids for repairing court house. Contract entered 
into with Sharp Bros., of Marion, to do the work at a price of $4,840." 


John Ellis, Lafe Stone and Thomas Ohlsen were the county commis- 
sioners at this time. The lease with the city expiring in March. 1895, 
they decided to repair the old court house and build an addition on the 
west. Thus the west third was added to the old building. A petition 
was filed with Judge Shinn, asking him to grant an injimction against 
the commissioners, restraining" them from using the county's funds, but 
it was denied. It was then taken to the supreme court, and that court 
sustained the decision of Judge Shinn. 

The new court house: May 17, 1907, a petition was presented to the 
board of county commissioners, signed by 2,060 resident tax payers, ask- 
ing that said board construct and erect a court house and jail at El 
Dorado, the county seat of said county, the cost to be not less than 
$50,000 and not to exceed $60,000. Petition granted. 


History of the new building: The legislature of 1907-08 passed a 
new court house law, the conditions of which were complied with, and 
the county commissioners took the initiatory steps to build a new court 
house. The question was carried to the district and supreme courts, the 
law was sustained and the commissioners proceeded with the work. 
George P. Washburn & Sons, of Ottawa, were employed as architects, 
and plans were adopted in July, 1908. Bids were then asked for and 
Mathein & Walter, of St. Joseph, Mo., were awarded the contract for the 
building for $60,000 on August 5, 1908. Work was commenced early in 
September and the building completed and accepted September 10. 1909. 
Possession was taken in October, 1909. Contracts for heating, lighting, 
etc.. were awarded separately and work accepted later. 

Ideal location : In the center of a whole block in the business district, 
facing Central avenue, surrounded on the other sides with beautiful 
maple and elm trees, within a short distance of the new Santa Fe depot, 
and some nice residences, the court house certainly has an ideal location. 
The fact that the site of the first court house built by the county is a 
part of the present location makes it all the more valuable. The corner 
stone was laid December 3, 1908. by a ]\Iasonic service. Deputy Grand 
Master Fred Washburn, of Anthony, F. J. Stinson and J. B. Adams 
spoke. A box containing copies of the city newspapers, names of county 
commissioners, architects, builders and superintendent and many other 
articles Avere deposited in a metal box in the corner stone. On the left 
of the main entrance is an entablature two by four feet, of Bedford find.) 
stone, inscribed : "This stone was laid by the Most Worshipful Grand 
Lodge, A. F. and A. M. of Kansas, A. D. 1908, A. L. 5908. Henry F. 
Mason, Grand blaster." On the corresponding stone, to the right of the 
door way, are these words: "County commissioners, S. R. Anderson. 
Peder Paulson, M. T. Minor ; George ^^^ashburn & Sons, architects ; 
^klathein & AA'alker. contractors; J. R. Switzer, superintendent." 

The building: The new structure is 70x100 feet, three stories high, 
and a ground floor, or basement, is 100 feet from grade line to top of 
tower ; has octagon corners which add much to the looks of the building ; 
is built of brick, faced with pressed brick, trimmed with Bedford find.) 
buff oolitic limestone, and has a roof of red tile. The structure is sur- 
mounted by a tower in which is located one of the best Seth Thomas 
clocks made, having illuminated dials, and was secured through J. W. 
Kirkpatrick, the jeweler. From this tower a good view of the town 
and county for miles around can be had. In front of the tower, in a 
conspicuous place, is the Goddess of Justice, and there is a flag pole on 
either end of the building. 

At the main entrance of the building is a stone portico twelve feet 
wide and thirty-six feet long, having six massive stone colonial columns 
extending the full length of the building, with a balcou}- the same size 
leading from the court room to the second story. The portico floor is of 
Mosaic tile and has "Butler County Court House. 1909," inlaid therein. 


Stone steps, twenty-four feet wide at the base and fourteen feet wide at 
the top, lead to the portico. The steps, as well as the buttresses on either 
side and the railing around the portico, are of Bedford (Ind.) stone. On 
either side of the approach is an electric light fixture. 

The corridors are twelve feet wide, run the entire length of the build- 
ing, the floors are of Mosaic tile and the wainscoting is of white glazed 
tile. There is a stairway at either end of each floor of the building, with 
iron frames and marble steps, making the building practically fireproof. 
All vaults are large, fireproof and are supplied with steel furniture, most 
of which came from the old building. 

The floors are of hard wood, ceilings are cement and pressed metal, 
the finishing of the interior is quarter oak from cellar to garret, and the 
furniture, mostly made to fit the different offices, is of modern design 
in quarter oak. The walls and ceilings are the popular rough, rustic 
finish, painted with lead and oil. The interior decorations are all hand 
and stencil w^ork, done by H. H. Mitchell, an artist in his line. The 
building has plumbing throughout for water and gas, is fitted with elec- 
tricity and telephones and is heated with steam. Each room and hallway 
has a brass chandelier supplied with both gas and electricity, as well as 
side lights, while the porticos are fitted with nice lighting fixtures. All 
windows are supplied with Venetian blinds, and there are nice nickel- 
plated drinking fountains in the offices. The ground floor is a foot above 
the grade of the building, making it a good story. It is built of native 
stone and veneered with Bedford (Ind.) blue oolitic limestone — the same 
stone the government is using on its public buildings. It is well lighted 
and ventilated and has three entrances, one under the main entrance to 
the building and one on either end, with a handsome portico. On the 
ground floor is located a farmers' rest room, nicely furnished with chairs, 
settees, tables and other things for the convenience of the farmers, their 
wives and children, with a toilet room attached. A room for the Grand 
Army of the Republic is handsomely decorated with the national colors, 
cannons, swords, etc., the work of H. H. Mitchell, is free for the com- 
rades. This room is nicely fitted up by the Grand Army of the Republic 
and \\^oman's Relief Corps. The cell room and sheriff's office, boiler and 
fuel room, janitor's office, two large storage vaults and public toilet 
rooms are also in the basement. As you ascend to the first floor from 
the portico, you enter a vestibule fourteen feet square, cut off from the 
main corridor by folding doors. To the right as you enter is the register 
of deeds office and his vault ; to the left is the office of the probate judge 
and his vault. About the center of this floor is a fine porcelain drinking 
fountain. On the south side of the corridor are located the offices of 
county commissioners, county clerk and treasurer, each office having a 
large vault. The offices on the south side of the corridor are connected 
by communicating doors. You ascend to the second floor from either 
end of the corridor by a handsome and durable marble stairway. In the 
center of the building, on the second floor, extending across from north 


to south, is the court room, 48x70 feet, with a 21-foot ceiling, splendidly 
ventilated. In the upper portion of court room to the south are six 
stained art glass transoms, giving a very pleasing effect. The room is 
handsomely decorated with heavy ornamental cornice and panel ceiling 
in relief, finished in colors and gold, and the wainscoting is of wdiite 
giazed tile. The judge's bench, jury box and bar are located in the south 
end of the room. A railing separates these from the public. The court 
room has an elevated floor and is seated with opera chairs. There is, a 
balcony on the north extending the full width of the court room, sixteen 
feet wide, entered from the third floor and seated with opera chairs, 
making the seating capacity over 300. The court room is lighted with 
two elaborate brass chandeliers, with twenty-five lights each, in addition 
to several wall lights. Connecting with the court room on the east is 
the offices of district clerk, sheriff and county attorney and their vaults. 
On the west side of the building on this floor are located the district 
judge's room and private office, court stenographer, witness room, at- 
torneys' consultation room and toilet. 

From the judge's private corridor on the third floor, a stairway 
leads to two jury rooms located on this floor, making them entirely se- 
cluded from the general public. There is a toilet room connected with 
each jury room. On the east side of the building on this floor is a cor- 
ridor extending to the entrance of the court room balcony. From this 
corridor you enter the office of county superintendent and surveyor. A 
toilet room and private stairway leading to attic and clock tower are 
also connected with this corridor. The attic above makes a splendid 
store room. 

Cost of building: The cost of the building, furniture and everything, 
furnished by County Clerk Arnold is given : Mathein & Walker, builders, 
$62,540.30; R. R. Moore, plumbing and heating, $4,515; J. Beeler, electric 
wiring, $1,185; Topeka Steel Furniture Company, five omnibusses, $300; 
Bailey & Reynolds, gas and electric fixtures, $1,200; window screens, 
$629.25; G. P. Washburn tS: Sons, architects, $2,237.32 ; J. O. McAfee, 
furniture, $4,208; court house site, $12,500; J. A. Switzer, superintendent 
building, $750; Millison Office Supply, furniture, $400; incidentals, 
$1,350; total, $91,714.87. ^^l^en the grounds were completed, walks 
built and all work finished, the building cost about $100,000. 

Commissioners builded well : It is the general impression of the 
people of the county, as well as those connected with the erection of 
the court house, that Butler county has full value for every cent ex- 
pended and has received far more for its money than several of the 
neighboring counties that have erected public buildings. The boards 
of county commissioners have been careful of the expenditures, always 
having in view the idea of building a structure that would best serve 
the interests of the county and be a credit to the people without being 
extravagant; had a few "extras" and everyone who visits the new edifice 
and looks it over carefullv, savs the comiuissioners "have builded well" 



and are certainl}- to be congratulated on their success. It was no small 
duty to perform, l)ut there is satisfaction to them in knowing the people 
are pleased to hear them say, "well done, good and faithful servants." 
When the work was commenced the county commissioners were Milton 
T. Minor, First district ; Sol Anderson, Second district ; Peder Paulson, 
Third district. This board started the w'ork and made most of the con- 


tracts. In January the board changed to the following: Milton T. 
Minor, First district ; AVilliam P. Bradley, Second district ; William J. 
Houston,, Third district. The new board took up the work with a vim 
that showed themselves to l)e business men, to be in a hearty accord 
with the movement and pushed it to a successful conclusion. 



Extinct geographical locations : A list of "lost" towns, postoffices, 
settlements and trading posts in Butler county since 1857 : 

Arizona or Arizonia, 1857, near present site of Augusta; town site 
laid out by a party of prospectors. Aral, Pleasant township. Amador, 
Clifford township. Ayr, Plum Grove township. Britton, Southern Rock 
Creek township. Buffalo Town Company ; not located by sections ; in- 
corporated February 12, 1858, for the purpose of laying out towns in 
Butler county. Bryant, Logan tow^nship, was located on Whitewater. 
A saw mill was located there at one time, operated by Dan Elder. Cari- 
boo, Murdock township. Cave Springs, Spring township. Clear Ford, 
southern part of Rock Creek township. Chelsea Town Company, Febru- 
ary II, 1858; J. C. Lambdin, P. G. D. Morton, L. M. Pratt and G. F. 
Donaldson. Cleveland Town Company, all non-residents ; no town lo- 
cated. Cornhill, north lioundary Augusta township. Crettenden, 
founded in 1861, abandoned in 1865. Dixon, near Degraffe. Edgecomb, 
discontinued in 1882; Murdock township. El Dorado Town Company, 
in Hunter county at that tihe, afterward Irving county. Incorporated 
February 6, 1858, by J. Cracklin, Sam Stewart, David Uphen and others; 
located west of the Connor farm, on what is now the Jamison, Royce 
and White farms. Freedom, Bloomington township. Fontanelle, 1854, 
near Augusta ; this town site infringed on the Arizona territory ; a num- 
ber of town lots were sold to eastern parties. Glen, location lost. 
Holden, Plum Grove township. Indianola, Benton township. Kossuth, 
chartered 1858, by J. Cracklin and others, who were non-residents ; lo- 
cation lost. Lawrence, location lost. Little Walnut, established 1870, 
now Leon. Meade's Ranch, now Towanda. Minneha, now in Sedgwick 
county. Modena, Pleasant township. Mulburry Grove, location lost. 
Nellans, Fairmount township. New Excelsior, Glencoe township. New 
Milwaukee, founded 1870, abandoned 1880. Minnesk, location lost. Oil 
City, El Dorado township ; first prospect for oil in Butler county. Ora, 
location lost. Overton, location lost. Providence, Richland township. 
Pendell, Benton township. Pine Grove, Rock Creek township. Plum 
Grove, near Potwin. Quito, on Little Walnut, on the Peter Johnson 
farm. Redden, Fairmount township. Smithfield, see Lorena. Schon- 
holm, Lincoln township. Spring Branch, see Cariboo. Sycamore Spring, 
Sycamore township. Sunnyside, Logan township. Tolle, vacated in 
1901 ; Union township. Walnut, Walnut township. Webster City, es- 
tablished in 1873 ; Bloomington township. Whitewater City, located in 
1858; name changed to Ovo in 1882, extreme north of Clifford township. 









The plains — 'T am the plains, barren since time began, waiting- until 
man shall give me towns like children for my arms." Men are^bronghi 
into this world and endowed with and possessed of certain character- 
istics, among which are ambition and imagination. These character- 
istics constitute the working power of the world and tend toward its 
fulfillment. They are the basis of discovery and settlement. They stand 
for enlightenment and advancement. 

In the dawn of the era when civilization, pressing westward, entered 
claim for its own, man, urged by his ambition and inspired by his imagin- 
ation, stood upon an elevation and beheld the plains primeval. There in 
the unhindered scope of his vision boundless rolling ranges stretched 
to endless skies ; peaceful, restful hills and valleys lay in dreamy, sen- 
suous slumber ; timber edged streams wound up and down ; unchained, 
unclaimed, unknown. Prairies of promise. Stretches of possibilities. A 
land in waiting. A land waiting the touch of the hand of man ; waiting 
the touch of his magic wand of love and power and civilization. A touch 
that should call from sleep to life. A touch that should arouse from 
the years and the silence a potent dynamic force and quicken it toward 
its reckoning of the future. A force that should glean from barrenness 
a wonderful and glorious fruition for man's inheritance. 

Wasted lands waiting the call unto a prolific fertile soil, that should 
produce that which is life-giving and life-sustaining; that should pro- 
duce prosperity and contentment ; that should produce manhood and 
womanhood ; a citizenship that should give a thrill of pride by reason of 
being a part thereof. And man, visualizing the possibilities, claimed the 
kingdom. "This country shall be my country. These plains shall be 
my plains. These streams shall be my streams." Then those elected to 



redeem it came unto the land preserved for them, and they set unto it 
boundaries. And it was a land exceedingly good. 

Let us turn back the hour and traverse the years and the changes. 
A panorama touched with the brush of the master artist, the description 
of which is beyond the power of the pen. Picture the beginning; the 
wilds of the wolf and the coyote, the bounds of the buffalo, the deer, the 
elk and the antelope ; the primitive home of the Red Man, his wigwam, 
his tribe, the little Indian village planted among the trees at the water's 
edge ; the stream where the red children played and grew to the stature 
of men and took up the life of their fathers, hunting, fishing, sleeping, 
fighting, stealing and passing on to the Happy Hunting Grounds, thank- 
ing the Great Spirit for life and opportunity. 

From that day look forward to this. Could imagination, stretched 
to its utmost limit, have pictured the changes? A new land, a new 
people. Old things have passed away, and, behold, all things are new. 
Xot the Indian nor his wigwam, not the buffalo nor the deer, not the 
imfenced, untamed prairie nor the primitive condition of all nature, but 
the finished home of the white man, his houses, his barns, his prosper- 
ing towns and growing businesses ; while horses, cattle and sheep graze 
the hills and range the valleys. Instead of the primitive we have the 
ciA'ilized ; instead of the wild, untamed soil, we have fields of grain and 
orchards of fruit; the wild has been subjected, the soil tamed and the 
desert caused to bring forth and blossom. 

As man goes forth to his daily toil and beholds his barns and gran- 
aries, filled to the utmost, and realizes that the days of want and hunger 
and i^rivation ha\e passed him by, there comes to his mind in some form 
or another, uttered or unexpressed, the great prayer and thanks, giving 
"Praise (jod. from whom all blessings flow.'' 

A\ hen the first settlement was made in Butler county, the lands 
south of the fifth standard parallel, Avhich runs near the north line of 
the present city of El Dorado, were largely Indian property. Next south 
of that lay a twenty-mile strip, the property of the Osage tribe. This 
land was ceded to the government by the Little Osages on September 
29, 1863, and was held as trust land. Next south lay the Osage reserve, 
a thirty-mile strip, which remained the property of the Indians until 
September 18, 1870, when it passed into the hands of the government 
and was opened for settlement. At the time of the settling of Kansas, 
the Indian had been placed on his reservation and required to stay there. 
The Indian has always been the most serious problem of the pioneer. 
A constant, anxious watch by day, a terrif^'ing dread by night. His 
boldness and daring had been somewhat tempered by the punishment 
which had been brought upon his laAvless outbreaks. The passing 
of years of defeat and constant retreat had dimmed the great warriors' 
s])irit and somewhat subdued the fire of his soul. 

It is doubtful if the Kansas pioneer ever faced Indian perils such 
as were endured bv the earlv settlers of Ohio. Indiana, Kentuckv, or the 


more eastern States as they were in turn redeemed to civilization. Yet 
there were times of outbreak when the firey spirits, consumed with de- 
sire to destroy, to burn, and to slay, would sweep down on the scattered 
and helpless settlements in the splendor of their savage war paint and 
the wild pandemonium of their cruel delight. The annals of Kansas are 
filled with blood}' deeds and murders and massacres of the Indians. 
Butler countv has been fortunate in having so few raids and murders 


by the Indians. Yet some are recorded. Some occurred in the wilds 
of the territory before boundaries had made the land into counties. 

The Indian held his king'dom undisturbed, save only by the occas- 
ional passing of a white man, his reig^n undisputed in the land which is 
now Butler county. He roamed at will in pursuit of the buffalo, or other 
wild game, until perhaps the year 1857. In that year a party of pros- 
pectors attempted a speculation in land, to which the Indians held title. 
Disputes arose over the boundary lines, and trouble came between the 
red man and the white. The Indians eventuallv proved their title, but 

(5) . 


not until after a settler had been killed by a band of Indans under Hard- 
robe, a chief of the Osage tribe. But for the most part friendly rela- 
tions were maintained between the Indians and the settlers. The In- 
dians would maybe steal or attempt small unfair dealing, but seldom was 
there an attempt of anything- savage. Many of the early settlers speak 
with great liking of certain Indians, who had become their friends. 

An occasional Indian scare served to frighten the scattered pioneers. 
The scares are recorded as furnishing a great deal of excitement, but 
without loss of life. In July, 1859, ^ report came from a party of Osages 
that a large band of Comanches was entering the county from west 
of the Whitewater, plundering and killing on the way. Chelsea was the 
general assembling point on these occasions. Settlers from the Walnut 
and the Whitewater gathered there for the purpose of uniting forces and 
battling against the foe. On this particular occasion, excitement ran 
riot. For two days anxious watch was kept. But the Indians never 
came, and the scare ended. Another Indian scare took place in May, 
1868. Again the Indians were heralded as coming to burn, to slay and 
kill. This time the frightened settlers gathered together in El Dorado, 
the men mustering all the old guns available and taxing their brains 
for methods of killing an Indian. Ammunition was pitiably scarce, and 
the brave little band of pioneers could not have long withstood an attack 
from savage raiders. But this, too, passed away. After two nights' 
vigil and no molestation, the settlers returned to their homes. Later it 
was learned that a band of Cheyenne Indians had passed north of here, 
through Marion county, on the way to meet and fight the Kaws that 
were stationed there. 

In February, 1862, a band of Cherokees came up the W^alnut. Be- 
cause they had been loyal to the Union, they had been driven by the 
rebels from their homes in the mid-winter. The weather was bitter cold 
and the ground covered with snow. The Indians were suffering terribly 
from cold and hunger. The hands and feet of many were frozen. They 
camped about two miles northeast of the present site of El Dorado, on 
what is now the James Teter farm. While waiting for relief from their 
agent at Lawrence, the settlers furnished good food and comfort. Six 
hundred bushels of corn and some oxen for beef were turned over to the 
sufferers. Martin Vaught and George Donaldson were among the good- 
hearted pioneers who were active in this deed, and never, said Mr. 
Vaught, has he seen a more grateful people. Some of the children were 
so starved they could not wait for food but ate raw corn and beef. The 
Cherokees were even then semi-civilized, and this band contained some 
as intelligent brains as the average white man. Many of this band after- 
ward enlisted and made good soldiers for the Union. Several families 
remained on the Walnut until the close of the war. 

A number of Indian trading posts were established in Butler and 
some'of the towns of the county were thus begun. In the early sixties a 
small -store was kept by Stone and Dunlap, famous Indian traders, on 


the site of old El Dorado. This is where the "California trail" and the 
"Osage trail" crossed the \\'alnut river. In 1863, Hagan and Morrow, 
two traders, established a trading post south of Atigusta, between the 
^Valnut and \\'hitewater rivers. Two years later they sold to Daniel 
Stine, who continued the business. The big" spring at Towanda and the 
wide g"rass bottoms aliout it formed an in\iting camping spot and there 
the Indians pitched their tents and let out their ponies. To the great 
spring" in 1863 came J. R. Mead and opened a trading post. This place, 
afterward named Towanda, was widely known at that time as Mead's 
Ranch. There he exchanged blankets, trinkets and trappings dear to the 
Indian's heart, for buffalo robes, furs and peltries. The Indians came 
from the south and west and camped there. Probably as many as twenty 
different tribes. The government sent Agent Major Milo Gaskins to 
look after the various Indian bands and he established liis agency at 
that place. 

Mr. Mead, in Kansas Historical Collections, \'^ol. 10, mentions these 
Indian camps in 1863 : 

"In 1863 th^re came from the south camps of Kickapoos, Shawnees, 
Delawares and others who settled on the A\"alnut and Whitewater. These 
Indians were the friends of all the wild Indians of the plains, and so 
lonaf as thev remained the southwestern frontier was safe from hostile 
attack. The Kickapoos I mentioned lived in the Indian Territory, or 
Texas, and were kinfolks and friends of the Kickapoos in Old Mexico. 
At the close of the Civil war, or about the fall of 1866, they outfitted at 
my place (Mead's Ranch on the WHiitewater, present location of Tow- 
anda) and all left for Old Mexico directly across the county. They knew 
the country well, and were the finest body of Indians I ever met — brave, 
honorable, noble and were expert hunters. There were not over thirty 
men with families. Their lodges were models of neatness and comfort. 
The Shawnees and Delawares I mentioned also lived in the Indian Ter- 
ritory before the Civil war and returned." 

In 1875 a band of 500 Pawnee Indians passed through Butler county 
on the way to a reservation in Oklahoma. They were in camp north of 
Towanda and again south of there. They were visited in both camps by 
many from the vicinity around, especially the young people of the day, 
with whom there was much bantering and joking. The old Indian days 
are passed beyond recall. Seldom is now seen a red man, but the old 
settler recalls with thrills and interest the dangers and escapes, the ex- 
periences and friendships of the days of the American Indian. Respect 
to his memory. 

Settlement Prior to 1870 — By first settlers, I refer to those early 
pioneers who came here for the purpose of making a home. Those sturdy 
men and women, who came with an empire in their hearts and a deter- 
mination in their brain, reinforced by the brawn to withstand. They 
who came to suffer and endure and accomplish; to experience hardship, 
to do all things at whatever cost, to conquer and subdue the soil and rea]) 



the harvest of victory. They that wrought higher than poetry, carved 
deeper than marble, and biiilded for themselves a monument as enduring 
as time. I mean not the migratory individual found on the frontier, com- 
ing ahead of ciyilization and fleeing before it, as do the wild animals 
that are opposed to and cannot meet civilizing influence. There were 
probably a few settlers in the county as early as 1854. Men who located 
along the streams established cattle ranches and trading posts. But very 
little, if anything, was done in the way of farming or attempting to make 
homes at that time. 

There is an account of an attempt to establish a settlement in 1857. 
A party of prospectors laid out a town site, near the present site of 
Augusta. To this was given the name Arizonia. A few months later 
another party, infringing the Arizonia territory, platted the town of 
Fontanelle. Town lots were sold to Eastern parties whose hopes were 
for money quickly and easily. Hopes that might have been realized 
save for altercation with the Indians and disputes for the title of the 
land, in which the red man proved his claim. But authentic record of 


settlement l)egins with the advent of William liilderbrand in May, 1857. 
William Hilderbrand was the first settler in what is now Butler county. 
He located on the \\'alnut river on the site where the first El Dorado 
was afterward located. Later Hilderbrand sold this and moved to an 
adjoining claim. This claim vvas afterward bought by the late Jerry D. 
Connor, whose home it was for many years. Clarence King now owns 
and resides on the place. 

In June, 1857, Samuel Stewart, of Lawrence, organized a colony to 
settle in lUitler county. They followed the old California trail to the 


point where it crossed the ^^'ah^ut — this was also the crossing- of the 
Osage trail — and there they pitched their tents, ten wall tents arranged 
in a circle, and in the center the raised Stars and Stripes.. This was 
June 15, 1857. Two days later the colonists planted corn. This was the 
first corn planting- in Butler county. The names of some of this colony 
were, besides Samuel Stewart, Captain J. Cracklin, A. B. Searle, T. B. 
Swift and Thomas Cordiss. They formed a town company, purchased 
the claim which had been taken by William Hilderbrand, and there made 
the first location of El Dorado. July 9, 1857, William Crimble, William 
Bemis, H. Bemis, Jacob Carey, Henry Martin, with their families, and 
ten other families, whose names have been lost, settled near to El 
Dorado. In October, 1857, Madison and Butler counties polled sixty- 
nine Free State and Seven Democratic votes. At the election under the 
Lecompton constitution, December 21, 1857, there is no record of re- 
turns from Butler county, but on August 2, 1858, at an election on the 
Lecompton constitution, held on the old El Dorado town site, there is 
a record of twenty-three votes — the entire vote polled — cast against that 
platform. In 1858 and 1859 Butler county had about fifty actual settlers. 
Prominent among those early timers stand the names of Jerry Connor, 
James Gordy, Martin Vaught, George Donaldson, J. C. Lambdin, Archi- 
bald Ellis and Prince Gorum Davis Morton. 

In the summer of i860 came drouth — drouth that is not equaled in 
the annals of Kansas. For three months there was not one drop of rain. 
All things green were turned to yellow and brown ; grass withered, crops 
burned ; the streams became dry, and the fish died on their barren beds ; 
great cracks opened in the earth, until one could not with safet}' ride 
across the fissured prairies. In August of that depressed summer came 
the first visitation of the grasshoppers. A large number of discouraged 
settlers left the state at that time and the vicissitudes of that year worked 
a far reaching hindrance against the settlement and progress of Kansas." 
During the years of the Civil war but few new settlers came to Butler 
county. In 1861 a company for home defense was organized under the 
command of P. G. O. Morton, of Chelsea. 

The late J. D. Connor wrote for the Walnut Valley Times. March 
8, 1895, ^ detailed account of the' members and services of this company. 
This is copied as follow^s : ''On account of the terrible drouth of i860 there 
were so many people returned to their old homes in "the States" that in 
'61 there were probably not more than 300 white people of all ages within 
the territory now included in Butler county. Of course, matters per- 
taining to the war were discussed here, as all over the countr}', and it 
had a peculiar interest for us, being on the extreme frontier and subject 
to raid, both from Indians and the rebs from Texas and the Cherokee 
nation. In the summer of '61 a company was organized for local protec- 
tion, with P. G. D. Morton, of Chelsea as captain. We had no regular 
duties or plan of meeting, but were subject to call at any time. The 
latter part of November we received word that there was a large train 


of government wagons coming" in from the west and headed toward 
Arkansas on the old CaHfornia trail, which crossed Whitewater about 
where Amos Adams lives now, and the Walnut on John B. Stone's farm 
below El Dorado. As all intercourse in that direction was prohibited at 
that time, we concluded that there was something wrong", so the com- 
pany assembled at old El Dorado. In the meantime, the train, consist- 
ing" of about thirty wagons such as were used by government freighters 
at that time, each drawn by six yoke of oxen, had passed us, but it was 
decided to overhaul and bring it back — if we could. We started after 
them wnth about thirty men and overhauled them in camp on the head 
of Hickory creek. We surrounded the camp and ordered them to sur- 
render, which they did without making trouble. They had about the 
same number of men that we had and if they had shown fight we must 
have fared badly. Three years' experience later convinced some of us 
that that was an awkward job, though successful. On the return we 
camped for the night on a little branch of Hickory, and to this day it 
seems the most disagreeable night I ever experienced. It rained and 
sleeted all night. There was no wood to make fire and by morning we 
were chilled to the marrow. We returned to the Walnut and went into 
camp on the farm now owned by James Teter. After resting the oxen 
a few days, we started the outfit with an escort to Ft. Lincoln, where it 
was learned that the train belonged to Majors & Rensch, of Leaven- 
w^orth. from whom it was stolen and to whom it was eventually re- 
turned. The men were turned loose. We then established a regular 
camp, built breastworks of logs and dirt, though not laid out with much 
engineering skill, drew tents and some rations from the government, and 
made it headquarters till the spring of '62, when, tiring of camp life on 
Walnut, twenty-six of us, with Mathew Cowley at the head, went to lola, 
were regularly enlisted into the United States service and, together with 
some boys from Fall River, made up Company L, Ninth Kansas cavalry. 
Following is a list of the members : J. D. Connor, Burge W. Atwood, 
David Upham, Joel Darius, Thomas, B. E., R. W. and Charles W. AVells, 
Wesle}^ C, Thomas A., Jonathan and Josiah Hager, James and Thomas 
Craft, Wilson M. and John B. King, D. L. McCabe, Thomas B. White, 
A. L. Petrie, AV. R. Cowley, Joyney Howell, Jake Landis, Jim Shipley," 
Norman Chapman and Dan Cupp. 

In addition to these, Jim Thomas, Josh Lambdin, Charley and Frank 
Harrison joined the Eleventh — Col. P. B. Plumb's regiment; W. H. 
Thomas, Bod DeRacken and Jerry Woodruff joined the Fifth ; Moses 
and Louis Thomas, Company G of the Ninth ; Ralph Lambdin drifted 
into the First Colorado; Martin Vaught, Dan Cupp, and, I think, George 
T. Donaldson, joined the Seventeenth. J. C. Lambdin and P. G. D. 
Morton were in the quartermaster's department. There may have been 
others whom I do not now recall. At any rate, it was a very large per 
cent of the able-bodied men in the county at the time. The six Wells 
boys — brothers, and all six-footers — lived with their parents on the farm 


now owned by W. E. Stone on West Branch. Three of them deserted, 
claiming- that they could not remain in the service and save their souls, 
but each one of them managed to get away with a government horse and 
revolver when he left. The Hager boys lived at the falls on the White- 
water, now owned by J. W. Robison. The company was commanded by 
Capt. G. N. F. Read, now of Burlington, this State, and no better soldier 
wore the blue. Cowley was our first lieutenant while he lived and was 
loved and respected by every member of the company. He died of ma- 
larial fever at Little Rock and was buried there in the military cemetery. 
Burge Atwood was our first orderly sergeant and Dan Upham the last. 
Alec Petrie was bugler and seemed to take special delight in blowing 
reveille, for which he got many a blessing, or whatever it might be 
called ; but wherever he Avas he was the life of the company. McCabe 
was our farrier, though it was harder work than he liked to do. After 
the muster-out we sent him to the legislature from this county. Poor 
Tom White died on the march on the Santa Fe trail between the Little 
Arkansas and Cow creek and was buried at sunset on the bank of that 
little stream. During the years '62 and '63 the company did duty among 
the Indians on the plains, and in the spring of '64 their reg"iment was 
consolidated and ordered into Arkansas, where we were thumped around 
till the final muster-out in the spring of '65. Of the boys who went from 
here in the old company, but few returned. Some were killed — more died 
of disease, till now there are only Ben King and myself to answer roll- 
call in the Walnut valley." Ben King died several years ago, and Mr. 
Connor himself passed away at Long Beach, Cal., December, 1915. Thus 
all are gone. 

Jacob Schaffer was probably the first man to locate on the present 
site of El Dorado, though his claim was not entered until 1868. His 
claim lay on the west branch of the Walnut, and extended across it. The 
cabin was located, presumably, about where the city building now 
stands. Here he kept a small stock of supplies. In 1867 two brothers 
named Moorehead moved into this cabin and opened up a small store. 
This is believed to be the first store on the site of the present city of El 
Dorado, and which is about two miles north of the original location. 
That same year a regular store was opened by E. L. Lower. 

In the fall of 1867 there was an invasion of cholera in southern 
Kansas, which included Butler county. A detachment of the Fifth 
United States infantry, under the command of Col. Thomas F. Barr, was 
stationed on the Little Arkansas near the present location of Wichita, 
and these troops brought the cholera with them. A dozen or more of 
the settlers of this county and a great many Indians died from the dis- 
ease. Hon. J. R. Mead, in writing of this time, makes this mention of the 
death of a member of his household : "Among those who died of cholera 
in tlie fall of 1867, in Butler county, was Sam Carter, my faithful clerk 
and all-round useful man. He died at my house at Towanda. Sam 
Fulton and Doc Shirlev. of AA'ichita, who happened to be at m\- house. 


and myself worked over him all night ; then after his death, washed and 
dressed the body and next day buried him. reading the burial services." 

In March, 1868, B. F. Gordy entered 160 acres of land, which is now 
all the part of El Dorado south of Central avenue. The town site was 
laid out about one month later. In July, 1868, A. G. Davis, William 
Vann. with several others, located in Towanda township, and about the 
same time D. L. McCabe located in Rock Creek township. In July, 1869, 
Philip Karns settled in Rosalia township and Holland Ferguson in Fair- 
mount township. Below is given a record of the first settlement in the 
different localities of Butler up to the year 1870, with the locations as 
designated by the present name of the township. This list is taken from 
a compilation of Jerry D. Connor, Martin Vaught and Daniel M. Bron- 
son, made from data they had in possession : 1857, May, El Dorado town- 
ship, William Hilderbrand. 1857. August, Chelsea township, Bob De- 
Racken, G. T. Donaldson. P. G. D. Morton, J. C. Lambdin. I. Scott, 
Martin Vaught, Dr. Lewellyn, Charles Jefferson, J. and L. Cole. 1859, 
Clifford township, William Badley. i860. Plum Grove township, Joseph 
H. Adams. 1866, Aprii, Spring township, Dave and H. AV. Yates. 1866, 
Walnut township, George Long. 1867, Bloomington township, Samuel 
Rankin. 1868, April 13, Benton township, J. P. J. Nelson. 1868, July, 
Rock Creek township, D. L. McCabe. 1868. July, Towanda township, 
A. G. Davis, William Vann, Chandler Atwood and others. 1869, Spring 
and Pleasant townships, Marion Franklin. 1869, May, Bruno township, 
V. Smith. 1869. July, Rosalia township, Philip Karns. 1869, Fairmount 
township. Holland Ferguson, i860. Hickory township. Mr. Myers. 
1870, April 2, Union township, A. L. McKee. There is added this further 
list of settlers who came to the county, most of them preceding the year 
1874, and who have since been prominent in its history: Daniel Stine, 
Augusta township; L. M. Pratt, father of Dick and John, Chelsea town- 
ship; James R. Mead, Towanda township; W. H. Avery, Clifford town- 
ship; Daniel H. Cupp, Towanda township; M. A. Palmer, Little Rock 
township ; Charles R. Xoe, Little Walnut township ; Alvin Palmer, 
Augusta township ; the Douglass boys, Joseph AV. William and W alter 
H., Douglass township ; Gilbert T. Green and family, Towanda town- 
ship (Mr. Green was the father of seventeen children, eleven of whom 
accompanied him to Kansas) ; Jefferson G. and Harrison Stearns, Tow- 
anda township ; James and Andrew J. Ralston, Towanda township ; and 
Rev. Isaac Mooney and family, Towanda township. 

Postoffice — The nearest established postoffice when the first settle- 
ment was made in Butler county was at Lawrence. Box 400 was rented 
by the settlers of the county, and mail so addressed was brought down 
to Emporia by means of a tri-weekly hack between that place and 
Lawrence. From Emporia mail was sent down to Butler by anybody 
who happened to be passing that way. The first distributing station in 
the county was established at Chelsea in 1858, with C. S. Lambdin as 
postmaster. The second postoffice in the county was established at El 
Dorado in i860, with D. L. McCabe as postmaster. 


Fourth of July — The very first celebration of this national holiday 
in this county happened, it is recorded, long- before Butler was a county 
or Kansas a territory. Cutler, in his History of Kansas, says: "In July, 
1847, Capt. J. J. Clark, with his company of ^Missouri mounted volunteers, 
bound for the Mexican war, came along- the old California trail and, 
crossing- the Walnut about a mile below the site of El Dorado, on the 
evening of the third of July, camped over for the night. The following 
day the eagle screamed and the salutes were fired and due honors paid 
to the warriors of an older day." But it was ten years later, July 4, 1857, 
that occurred the first real celebration in Butler county, the second on 
Butler county land. This was held by the settlers, on the site of old 
El Dorado. The settlers had but just arrived and no houses had been 
provided. The wagons were ranged in a circle for protective service in 
case of an attack by the Indians. Cutler has to say of this occasion: 
"Money was scarce in that camp, and had it been as plentiful as sea sands 
it could have purchased nothing; so the men started out to find in 
nature's storehouse the material for a feast. In the Walnut, \\"illiam 
Crimble caught a large buffalo fish, Samuel Stewart shot a wild turkey 
and another of the party brought in a deer. While these supplies were 
being prepared numbers of speeches served to show the patriotism of the 
various members, and Judge ^^'akefield, of Lawrence, delivered an ad- 
dress. There is no time like the first in anything, and though often a 
celebration of later days has been memorable, and its echoes have rung 
in memory's ears for many a day, there can be none to efface in the 
hearts of those who heard them the resonant sounds of the years ago." 
Another Fourth of July celebration of a decade later has been graphically 
described by Mrs. D. M. Bronson, now Mrs. C. E. Dickinson, and mother 
of Mrs. C. E. Thompson, of El Dorado. 

"Our first Fourth of Jul}' celebration occurred in 1868, which 
eclipsed anything I had ever seen for pure, unadulterated patriotism and 
practically illustrated freedom. The grove near Dr. Gordon's was se- 
lected for the purpose. The preparations were elaborate, seats were im- 
provised, a speaker's stand erected, an old army flag was resurrected out 
of some dark corner and suspended in graceful folds from the limb of a 
tree just over the head of the speakers, which was both inspiring and ef- 
fective. A public dinner was the order of the day. The men recon- 
noitered around to secure the financial requisite. The women were oc- 
cupied preparing the "grub" the day arrived and all went merry as a 
marriage bell ! The sun shone brightly, the birds sang sweetly and all 
nature seemed in unison with our hearts.. The marshal of the day was 
Mr. Elisha Main. The exercises were introduced by singing the 'Star 
Spangled Banner,' which was executed with spirit, and what was lacking 
in time was supplied in sound. Father Stansberry offered a prayer; the 
Declaration of Independence was read by W. T. Gallagher; orations 
were then delivered by D. M. Bronson and W. T. Gallagher, which were 
both eloquent and patriotic and so vivid in portrayal that we could al- 


most see the noble bird in his aerial gyrations, and hear the footfall of 
the Pilgrim Father on the barren Plymouth Rock. The Declaration, our 
glorious magna charta, was literally worn out, what there was remaining 
of it would hardly make a gun wad. After the exercises closed the table 
was prepared, looking inviting enough to please the most fastidious epi- 
cure. But here came the tug of war. There were about ten bachelors to 
one woman in the country. All hungry, lean and lank, they made one 
grand forward' march for the table. In about five minutes that table 
was bare. One lady, approaching me with a countenance indicative of 
sorrow, said : 'Have you seen anything of my fruit cake, the first one 
I have seen or made since I left old England's shores ?' I told her I sup- 
posed it had gone to hunt up my dried apple pies. I did come near on 
this occasion of being converted to the doctrine of total depravity. The 
day's exercises closed with a grand ball over Henry Martin's store. This 
was our first dress ball." 

Homesteading — The United States land office was located at Hum- 
boldt until October, 1870, when it was removed to Augusta, with Andrew 
Akin, registrar, and AV. A. Shannon, receiver. The office remained in 
Augusta only until early in 1872, when it was removed to A\^ichita, 
where it remained until practically all the land in Butler county had 
been entered. The southern portion of the county as far north as the 
north line of section 30, in township 26, a strip twenty miles wide was 
known originally as the Osage Indian reserve. It is said this land was 
promised to the Osage Indians as long as "grass grew or water run," but 
the government in 1863 purchased the lands and removed the Indians 
to a reserve farther south. The reserve was then made pre-emption land 
and was sold to actual settlers at $1.25 per acre. Conditions and restric- 
tions obliged the settler to make certain improvements, sufficient to 
show his good faith in taking the land for a home. 

The remainder of the county north was disposed of to actual settlers 
under the homestead laws of the United States. The entire north por- 
tion was homesteaded except the odd numbered sections for a distance 
of twenty miles from the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe rail- 
road. This land was donated to the railroad company to assist it in con- 
struction of the railroad through the state. The first donation was 
for ten miles on either side of the railroad, but afterward on account of 
a portion of the said odd numbered sections having been entered, the 
company was given an additional ten miles. In 1872 it was discovered 
that the company was claiming lands beyond the twenty-mile limit. A 
resurvey was had and a number of acres was turned subject to home- 
stead entry. This land in Butler county was principally in Fairview and 
Benton townships. There was a small strip of land about fifteen rods 
wide between the two surveys, caused by a failure to make conections 
in surveying. This strip was called, or miscalled, the neutral strip. It, 
like the land on the north was subject to homestead entry. 







Real Settlement — In 1867 or 1868 real settlement was begun in 
Butler county. Many quarter sections were homesteaded and pre- 
empted, much land was broken and farmers settled down to the business 
of making- homes and accumulating property. The tide of immigration 
turned in this direction. The white-covered "prairie schooners" began 
to arrive, and from that time on until 1874, "grasshopper year," they 
were always in sight, bringing those men through whose veins coursed 
the ,best blood of the race of mankind. Men, energetic, ambitious, opti- 
mistic, courageous. And they came with the mystic power of looking 
into the future, of seeing beyond the present boundaries into the invisible 
future; home-seeking men, trusting to the lands of Butler county their 
future and their families. 

And here let me speak a word for those women of the early days, 
those loyal women who accompanied to the plains the men of their 
choice ; women of refinement and culture ; forsaking father, mother, re- 
lations, girlhood friends of the years ; leaving homes, if not of luxury, yet 
of comfort, a roof to shelter, a bed for rest, a stove for warmth and cook- 
ing; to cook over a camp fire; to live upon meager necessities; to sleep 
in comfortless corners ; to forget the sight of new garments. Brave, un- 
complaining women, doing their duty, meeting trials, overcoming diffi- 
culties, getting along without, giving up the essentials of enjoyment and 
happiness ; timid, lone women at times left alone with the doleful sound 
of the prairies, and neighbors not for twenty miles. Pioneer woman, go- 
ing down into the valley without the comfort of a sister woman, await- 
ing the uncertain call of an unskilled doctor — but a doctor who spared 
not his efforts to help ; and at last awakening to that joy that only a 
mother has ever known, the knowledge that out of her travail has come 
a man child, into her home and into her world. Then she goes about 
with a song of gladness, performing the duties of the house, and after 
that often going into the field to hel]) her husl)and. 



AVhere would be tlie boasted civilization of Butler county today, 
save for the pioneer wives and mothers who took and kept their places 
side by side with the pioneer men. Women with woman's refinement 
and power to comfort; women of endurance and able to compel men to 
higher things. The high standard of citizenship, the civic righteousness 
of Butler county today, the schools, the churches and all things, which 
tend to make this county desirable for home and family are the ma- 
terial results wrought from the inspiring influence of the brave, noble 
women of the frontier. 

The immigration continued, settlers multiplied. The bottom lands, 
and after that the uplands, began to be occupied. Houses began to in- 
crease along the streams. "Box" houses and caves in the hillside were 
used for dwelling places for "proving up" on the claims. 

The need for homes brought into the county the first enterprise of a 
public character — the erection of saw mills. These were located from 
time to time at Chelsea, El Dorado, Little Walnut, Douglass, Augusta, 
Towanda and Plum Grove. None of these mills are in present use. With 
the saw mill came the cutting and sawing of timber, and board shacks 
appeared on the uplands. These seldom contained more than two rooms, 
one inside and the othei: out. But somewhere in the attic or on the wall 
was the guest chamber. No matter where he was from or who he hap- 
pened to be, a welcome always awaited the visitor. And "such as I have, 
give I unto thee." Perhaps only corn meal and salt pork, with a cup of 
Arbuckle's coffee — but given Avith that good will and hospitality that 
today still characterizes the Kansas people. 

Many hardships and privations were encountered and lived. Prob- 
lems were met and solved that the present generation would hesitate to 
undertake. And the chief one of them all was to make one dollar do the 
work of nine. But in those homes and among those people, the hard- 
ships and privations notwithstanding, there were formed friendships 
as lasting as time. Everyone was willing to divide the little he had with 
his neighbor. Any article for house use or any implement for farming — 
and all were scarce — was always at the neighbor's service, whether a 
neighbor of a mile or of ten miles distant. It is known as a fact that a 
bacon rind used to grease the griddle for corn or wheat cakes has been 
loaned around a neighborhood. But in those primitive homes were 
brought up the boys and girls that are the men and women of the county 
today. Sturdy, self-reliant, capable men and women that have shaped 
the destiny of this county, and who are yet furthering their efforts by 
precept and example to make Butler county the greatest and grandest 
land of homes on earth. Every man a king, every woman a queen, and 
whose confidence in their ability to overcome, and their faith in the 
promises of almighty God laid the foundation of a communit}' of right- 
thinking, right-living. God-fearing people. And the boys and girls of 
those other boys and girls, whose blood contains no taint of the saloon 
or brothel, whose inspirations are the memories of the clean lives of their 



ancestry, and whose aspirations are to build Act greater, aim higher and 
leave the impress of their lives unto future generations. 

The period of from 1868 to 1874 is the period of the true early settle- 
ment in the history of the county. It is the period usually referred to as 
tlie "early day" and the period of reminiscences. Also it is the time of 
the arrival of the "official" old settler, an "old settler" being- defined in 
the constitution and by-laws of various organizations as "one who came 
to Kansas prior to grasshopper year." These were the days of earnest 
purpose, days of good will to all, days of the fullness of life, days without 
social strivings and days without class distinction, but a loyal people 
from many lands, met together on a common ground, with common ends 
and common pleasures. "For with this simple j^eople, who lived like 
brothers together,- all things were held in common, and what one had 
was another's." 


For amusement or entertainment the neighbors visited. They talked 
over times back east, where they were from, why they left (some of 
them) and why they located in Rutler county. On Sunday there was 
either a horse race or preaching. The horse racing on Sunday soon died 
out, the preaching continued and along with the preaching services came 
the Sunday school, and in the opinion of the writer, a greater per cent 
of the people attended then than now. For the younger set, there was 
riding on horseback (or ponies rather). And when the boys could raise 
the two-bits or the four-bits necessary to pay the fiddler, they would 
gather for from two to twenty miles for a dance, and 'twould be "dance 
all night till broad daylight," with an intermission for refreshments. 


These- consisted of cove oysters and crackers, with bologna on the side 
and home roasted coffee (and they were mighty good). 

One of the most noted and longest remembered dances was held in 
Towanda in the fall of 1871. One E. G. Richards had erected a two-story 
building about 25x40 feet. There were two rooms below and one above, 
the stairway being on the outside. The building was constructed of the 
ordinary sheeting lumber sixteen feet long (which was the height of the 
building) and stood upright. The upper story was the "hall." The 
music consisted of one organ operated by Mrs. J. H. Dickey ; one piccalo, 
for which Dan Overocker furnished the motive power, and one fiddle 
(before the days of the violin ) required to talk under the direction of W. 
C. Wait, father of one of our present county commissioners. And the 
old-timers, "Turkey in the Strawy," "Devil's Dream," "Fisher's Horn- 
pipe," "Arkansas Traveler," and others similar, and the square dances, 
the old folk-dances, Virginia reel, money musk and others did duty that 
night if never before or since. Also a banquet was spread for this oc- 
casion. The menu is remembered as follows : Cove oysters, roast pork, 
bread and butter, ginger bread, prunes, dried apple pie, dried peaches 
and milk and hot coffee. What more could be washed. Neither were 
there tables for serving, but a plate was held on the lap, and very few 
spilled the contents of their plates on the floor. A number went out from 
El Dorado to take in this society event. Among these were George J. 
Hartman, Miss Hartman, Will Julian, N. F. Frazier and Miss Emma 
Crook, who afterward became Mrs. N. F. Frazier, and both of whom 
are gone from us. And always at a Fourth of July celebration was the 
platform dance the popular amusement. Of .course, then, as now 
speeches were made, but also no one heard them any more then than 
they do now. But "on with the dance, let joy be unconfined," kept the 
platform busy until the early hours, or until the fiddler ceased fiddling 
from sheer exhaustion. Even, mayhap, from another reason, when the 
same tune began to go round and round in unceasing success, the. hint 
went out that it was time to mount your ponies and go home. 

xA.nother popular amusement of this period was the amateur the- 
atrical. Home talent plays, ranging from "Handy Andy" to "Mad 
Nance" never failed of thrills both in front and behind the curtain. The 
home troup always played to crowded houses and real appreciation. 
Later there came periodically through the county the traveling reper- 
toire companies. Favorite of all these was "Louie Lord," star of the 
eighties in Butler county. Other talented "families," as the Davis fam- 
ily and the musical DeMoss family' became almost as familiar to us as 
friends. Other pastimes were the singing schools and the spelling- 
schools that buzzed and hummed wath excitement. The name of the 
occasion mattered not. The enthusiasm of light hearts and free life car- 
ried it along on joyful wings. And any or all of these times must call 
forth a ride across the prairies, often of many miles. But blow cold, 
blow hot, it mattered not, young life was ready to go and young hearts 


beat willi gladness. The boys and girls of the early days got all dul of 
life there was in it. They worked with a will, they played with a will. 
Clans and cliques were unknown, each one needed the other. 

Thus the time passed on. The land was tilled, the soil cultivated, 
the people were happy and reasonably prosperous, till came the year of 
1874. The seed was sown and the harvest planted. r)Ut the summer 
came on and there was no rain. The sky continue(l a ])urned-out blue, 
the grasses withered, the few forest and fruit trees planted began to 
droop. Farmers began to incpiire of each other of the prospect for crop's ; 
farmers not disheartened, only fearful. Each one with the spirit ot 
Kansas optimism tried to encourage the other, while at the same time 
cheering himself ; and all scanned the sky for the clouds that came not. 

Grasshopper Year — And August came, the month from which all 
things in Kansas since that time are dated. And the sun shone, and the 
sky carried day after day a gun metal lining. The hot, dry, ceaseless 
wind from the south burned the faces of men and seared the life of 
nature. Crops withered, grasses of the prairie drooped and cried for 
moisture. Dumb animals, domestic or wild, stood motionless. Then 
came noon of the seventh day of that memorable month. There fell over 
the land a dimness of the sun, like unto dust upon a window^ pane. Fol- 
lowing this a sound as if a rushing wind, or as of swallows leaving a 
chimney ; then pat, pat, pat, faster and faster and faster upon the doors 
came that wdiich caused strong men to bow themselves, and women to 
cry out in dispair. And the land of promise became a land of blight, of 
shattered hopes and of disappointment. The great black cloud swept 
down, and thus the grasshopper came, came with his kindred, his an- 
cestry and all their descendants ; like "the arrow that flieth by day and 
the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the terror by night and the 
destruction that wasteth at noOnday." Not by thousands, nor by tens of 
thousands, but like unto the sands of the seashore that no man could 
number. A hoard of hungry, leaping, hopping, flying insects ; a buzzing 
of wings and a sound like the rushing of waters ; they came with such 
speed and velocity that contact wath a solid substance often stunned or 

Persons were compelled to protect their faces for fear of injury to 
the eyesight. Animals turned from them as they would from storm 
or hail. It was impossible to drive a team against them, and almost as 
impossible to keep control of it when driving wuth them. Frightened 
stock stampeded and in frenzy ran heedless, perhaps not to return. 
Alighting in headlong speed, the pests settled layer upon layer until the 
land was covered. There lay over Butler county a solid covering of from 
two inches to two feet in depth ; and there was drifted against the hedges 
or anything that retarded progress a depth of writhing plague of from 
two to four feet. Wagon tracks were filled until driving over them 
sounded like the eating of onion or chewing dill pickles. A hungry, fam- 
ished, voracious, greedy, greasy, repulsive, devouring insect. "Longing, 


they look, and gasping at the sight, devour hereo'er and o'er with vast 
delight." Eating, eating, eating, eating and destroying. The settler's 
few remaining vegetables, in his withered garden, everything, except 
onions, was taken in a twinkling. Clothes hanging on the line were con- 
sumed before they could be rescued. Even the clothesline itself was 
eaten. Corn standing in the field, giving some promise of crop, was left 
looking like a field of dry sticks. Like a field for which peas had been 
planted, and carefully staked, but no vines bloomed. Only an arid stake 
about tAvo feet high remained, from which the every blade, the ear, the 
silk, the tassel and the top of the stalk were eaten. 

I remember one desolate field as described above, in which was left 
one lone, solitary volunteer stalk of sorghum. Passed by the grass- 
hoppers, it waved its top and blades back and forth over the destruc- 
tion around it, looking grand, gloomy and peculiar. Judge A. L. L. 
Hamilton relates that there were also saved in Butler county, besides the 
lonely sorghum stalk for which I bear witness, two fairly good crops of 
corn. One of these fields was preserved by the placing of straw, recently 
thrashed, on the windward side of the field. By keeping this burning 
the smoke became a defense against the plague. The other field was 
shielded by its positicwi, being surrounded by timber. And, by the queer 
freak that is often played in the visitations of Providence, it was left un- 
found. and so untouched. 

Every leaf upon every tree, and even the very bark itself, was con- 
sumed by the devouring pest. Eating the gauzy netting at the windows 
the noisy, gnawing, consuming blight seized upon the hard-earned homes 
of the settlers. Grasshoppers in the flour bins, ifi the milk pans, in the 
water buckets, in everything ; the curtains and carpets, clothings and bed 
clothing until nothing was left. Even articles of wood were attacked, 
beds, chairs, tables, were left perforated with a million holes. This was 
true also of the wooden parts of tools and implements, such as the hoe 
or rake handles ; harnesses and flynets, of whatever material ; in fact, only 
solid iron itself served as a barrier to the million-mouthed appetite. Eat- 
ing, eating and never satisfied with a noise like hungry pigs munching 
their kaffir. And nothing remained safe save only the houses, the sheds, 
the animals and a few stalks of sorghum. Chickens and other poultry, 
even the hogs, gorged on the insects and died in great numbers. But as 
these would have escaped only to die of starvation later, it worked no 
additional hardship to the farmer. Then when the land was barren the 
grim visitors left. But before going they deposited a certificate of their 
return. Eggs were left in a ground honey-combed with cells. This stood 
a menace before the settler the winter long. After the passing of the 
grasshopper the sight was one awful to contemplate, fearful to look upon, 
terrible to behold. The land lay desolate as though a whirlwind of devas- 
tation had passed over, and the pioneer saw his county dreary, dismal, 
doleful, lonely and forbidding. A great pall had settled upon the com- 
munity. Surely those were da3's that tried men's souls. As a realiza- 


tion of the calamity L;re\v upon the struggling settlers they became as 
souls bewildered, stunned or dazed. They appealed to each other in a 
manner that was pathetic as helpless children asking help from someone 
that was as helpless as they themselves. Small wonder that steps grew 
laggard, that energy and ambition weakened, that head drooped on the 
shoulder, .while everything in nature seemed to say "man was made to 

But the re-action came. The spirit of the pioneer Kansan began to 
assert itself. Calamity and misfortune w^ere met with an indomitable, in- 
vincible will that suffers, endures and finally overcomes. The far larger 
portion of the early settlers who had decided for Butler county for their 
homes renewed this decision in the firm determination of their hearts. 
They took a new grip and made ready for the battle for bread for those 
dependent upon them. They plowed and planted, they managed in some 
way to live until the soil again produced something to live upon. True, 
some returned to the East to stay until seed time came again, and some 
to come back no more. True, the aid sent by eastern friends was timely 
and tided many a home to new life and fortune. This aid, the grateful 
hearts of Butler county were rejoiced to repay, w'hen the privilege came 
in later years. (See account). True, also, of the autumn and winter 
of '74 that no new dresses were bought that season. I.ast year's bonnet 
was good enough for this year. The patches upon the men's clothing 
and boots were a little larger. Pockets were empty and hunger some- 
times present. The boys and girls wended their way to school thinly and 
poorly clad but with intellects strengthened by adversity — lacking, not 
luxuries, but necessities. Their interests were not divided Avith the follies 
of fashion, nor their minds set aside from the business of learning. The 
hardships and privations seemed to increase in the pioneer his deter- 
mination to stay, and one of his boasts is today: "I was here during 
grasshopper year, and I stayed." 

In the spring of seventy-five the young grasshoppers began to ap- 
pear. But this visitation, forestalled by precaution and as much as pos- 
sible by the destruction of the eggs, was not so disastrous as anticipated. 
And as the balmy spring breezes came from the southland, there sprung 
in the hearts on the devastated frontier a thrill of gladness, of joy, of 
hope and of faith in the future. Blood coursed more rapidly through the 
veins, steps regained their spring and prospects grew brighter. A county 
of prospects by which the planter lives, hopes and prospects so allied 
they reach the end of the road together. And while mostly the end is in 
fruition, yet in times the road traveled has been rough and well nigh im- 
passable, but in the event the w^ay is lost and the goal unreached, 
strength is ever at hand for a new start. And new hopes and new pros- 
pects keep the soul alive, while the heart beats time to the measure of 
"success, next time." It is this spirit which combats and conquers that 
has made Butler county what it is today. The wisdom and judgment of 
the sturdy pioneer who staved has long since been evidenced. The grass- 


hopper has not returned. It will not. Dry weather has been, hot winds 
have been, storm and flood have been, but on the whole Butler county 
stands best and surest in the world for crops. I have personally wit- 
nessed forty-six crop seasons here, and with never a total failure. Never 
a year but something- material has been produced. Never one acre but 
upon which something" can be raised. And one sure crop not affected 
by draught, heat, storms, hot winds, cyclones, good times or bad sea- 
sons, is the crop of good fellowship, true friendship, and genuine philan- 
thropy — these never fail. 

Sometimes, it is true, a longing and a homesickness for the scenes 
and friends of youth has come upon the lonesome, far-off prairie-isolated 
pioneer, until the impulse to return has been almost irresistible, but that 
this was .the shadow of a longing and not its substance, was always evi- 
denced by a return trip to the old places. For after submissive years 
which had ever failed of contentment, after conditions and circumstances 
were improved, after the family was grown, after the crops of the season 
were "laid by," it happened a visit might be made to the old home, "back 
east," and it took only a little while to realize that changes were there 
also. Faces and ways were changed. Familiar places cherished through 
the years in memory had not the look the mind had pictured. Disap- 
pointment was everywhere. A\'hat had been remembered as an immense 
acreage was shrunk to the size of a Butler county corral. The old 
"worm" fences, the w^orn out trees, the dead orchards, the oldness, the 
srnallness, the slowness ; measured against the great open fields, the pros- 
pects and promises of the plains, the new life and enthusiasm of the 
West; and the Kansas pioneers said together: "Let us go home." They 
returned vaccinated against desire and longing for the home back east, 
and "it took." 

The early settlement of Butler county is now pressing back into the 
dimness of years. The experience of those who stand for the embodi- 
ment of this history is represented by the monuments of a generation of 
the old pioneers — they who exemplified the motto : "Ad astra per aspra." 
They have lived their lives. They had their enjoyments, such as they 
were, and their sorrows, and the glory which was theirs and of which 
they dreamed has departed. We who are left, who are here, are enjoy- 
ing the results of their labors. AVe visualize their efforts to materialize 
the dreams which were theirs, in the days of hardship and privation. 
While they builded with their hands, they yet erected the castles of their 
imagination ; they looked forward to the time when the things desired by 
them should become a reality ; when their talents and their ability should 
be recognized, and the esteem to which they are entitled should be given 
unto them. Respect be to their memory, and the honor of this history 
be theirs. 



When the spring-time touch is highest, 
When the summer eyes are brightest, 

Or the autumsings most drear, 
W^hen the winter's hair is whitest, 

Sleep, old Pioneer : 
Safe beneath the sheltering soil, 

Late enough you crept. 
You were weary of the toil 

Long before you slept. 
Well you paid for every blessing. 

Bought with grief each day of cheer, 
Naure's arms around you pressing, 
Nature's lips your brows caressing, 

Sleep, old Pioneer ! 

Careless crowds go daily past you. 

Where their future fate has cast you, 
Leaving not a sigh or tear ; 

And your wonder-works outlast you. 
Brave old Pioneer ! 

Little care the selfish throng- 
Where }-our heart is hid, 

Though they strive upon the story, 
Resolute work it did. 

But our memory eyes have found you. 
And we hold you grandly dear. 

With no workday woes to wound you. 
Sleep, old Pioneer ! 

Afterwards — With grasshopper year, the history of the early settle- 
ment of the county properly closes. As the effects of that disaster wore 
away, population increased and developments came rapidly. Statistics 
are given below of the population of the county from the year i860 to 
the year 1890, that the increases may be noted: i860, 437; 1865, 294; 
1870, 3,072; 1875, 9,840; 1880, 18,591; 1885, 27,018; 1890, 24,155; 1895, 
21,126; 1900, 22,800; 1916, 25,000. 

The first public enterprise to take hold in the county was the build- 
ing up of various mills. In 1882 industries of this and kindred sort put 
Butler county in the first rank in south central Kansas. At that time the 
following mills, with their given value, were operating in the county: 
J. W. Smith, Leon, horsepower sorghum mill, $300; Lytle & Sons, Tow- 
anda, water power flowing mill, $1,300; H. J. & J- W. Ground. Augusta, 
steam flouring mill, $19,000; J. C. Haines. Augusta, steam corn mill, 
$4,000; A. Palmer, Augusta, steam saw mill, $1,200; John \W Dunn, 


Douglass, water power flouring- mill, $10,000; Wise & Kirk, Douglass, 
steam flouring- mill, $20,000; Burdett & A\'eeks, El Dorado, water and 
steam power flouring- mill, $20,000; also in El Dorado at that time was 
a brickyard owned by L. Hunting, and a furniture factory, owned by 
J. T. Oldham, each valued at $1,000. W'ith but a few exceptions these 
mills were not successful from a financial standpoint. The products of 
the grist mill are as a rule now manufactured outside the county. Though 
a mill at Whitewater and one at Douglass are doing a good business, the 
greater portion of the old mills have disappeared, a few remaining stand- 
ing as landmarks. 

A general prosperity marked the way through the eighties, rising to 
high tide with occasional bumper crops. April 6, 1884, Butler county 
had the pleasure of sending a train consisting of thirty cars of corn, con- 
taining 400 bushels each, to the relief of Ohio sufferers. This corn was 
received in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 11, and was sold April 12 for $7,000. 
Many times later has the county had the privilege of dividing its stores 
with those unfortunate from famine or disaster. The culminating wave 
of prosperous conditions was reached with the "boom" of the eighties, 
which engulfed this section of the country. Butler county withstood 
this period of wild dreams and visionary schemes with less formidable 
results that were suffered in other places. In fact, some advancement 
was achieved at that time, as that was the beginning of better homes in 
the county. Many of the larger and more substantial homes of El Dorado 
were built in eighty-eight or eighty-nine. The county, too, felt the ef- 
fects of the depression which swept the country in the ear]_\- nineties. A 
time when business was dull, money was scarce and times were hard. 
And thus have the fortunes of Butler county moved on, upward through 
the years, its season of mortgages and debt gradually giving way to a 
general and permanent prosperity. Dry weather still comes, and crops 
still fail, but a season's loss does not mean to the lUitler county farmer 
what once it meant. His resources are sufficient to meet his needs, and 
his is a continuous preparation against the day of adversity. The Butler 
county land owner of today surveys from his modern home, his farm oi 
modern appointments and equipment and his mind takes heed of the 

The era of the pioneer has passed, the time of the primitive has de- 
parted. Butler county has taken its place and has become one of the 
integral parts of a great state whose praises are the pride and joy of 
its people, and whose fame is circumscribed only by the bounds of civili- 
zation. A representative county supplied with all those things that 
make up the sum total of life, including the hobo and the millionaire, the 
producer and the consumer. A county where there is enough opposition, 
climatic and otherwise, to cause a man to put forth his best efforts to 
overcome and succeed in his endeavors ; to compel results in his favor. 
A county whose people have eliminated the word "fail" from their vo- 
cabulary and put the lard in larder. A county whose possibilities have 


become certainties, whose faith has given o'er to sight; whose hope has 
ended in fruition. A county whose people are happy and contented from 
the appearance of the dandeHon in the spring to the disappearance of the 
g'olden rod in the fall ; and who do each other good from the time the 
stock is sheltered in the fall until "the green gets back in the trees." A 
county where the hens cackle a little louder; where the eggs are a little 
larger, where the cows moo a little more melodiously; where the butter 
is a little more golden ; where the alfalfa and kafir grow a little more 
luxuriant ; where crops yield a little more abundantly ; where the farmer 
markets his grain and stock a little more advantageously ; where the oil 
in the wells is a little nearer the surface, and the gas has a little more 
pressure ; where the children are a little dearer and brighter ; the women 
a little more handsome, learned and lovely ; the men a little more noble, 
cotirageous and manly; and where home is a little nearer and dearer 
than any other place in the wide-wide world. 









The highways in the early days ran as the crow flew, directly from 
point to point. Right angles were not a necessity. The pioneer was 
familiar with the long angling prairie road, stretching out like a great 
snake as far as the eye could see. There were of course no bridges pro- 
vided for the traveler. The streams must be "forded" in the most avail- 
able place. Many of these crossings were more or less dangerous, espe- 
cially in time of floods. Some hazardous experiences and hair-breadth 
escapes may be related from encounters with swollen streams. 

The roads of that period were not "worked." In the event they 
became cut up too much, the driver drove out at one side, the great 
prairie space being so ample. This meant virtually moving the road 
over, for the new tracks usually became the next road. Thus the road 
grew indefinitely wider and wider. These prairie roads were said to be 
the best natural roads ever traveled. It were well this were so, for all 
goods, wares, or merchandise, including lumber, must be brought over 

Freighting — Everything and everybody came in wagons. Wagons 
drawn by cattle, oxer or, later, by horses. The supplies for the stores, 
the household goods of the settler who came from "back east," such 
lumber as was necessary outside of the native timber, all must be 
hauled into the county over the long road, he first distance being as far 
as Leavenworth away. The distance decreased as the railroad ap- 
proached, from Leavenworth to Lawrence, from Lawrence to Topeka, 
from Topeka to Emporia. The hauling of goods of all kinds in the 
county developed into an industry. This was commonly called freight- 
ing. Many men, freighters, were thus employed. Men who spent the 
long hours on the trail, stopping to cook their meals by the wayside, 
camping at night in the best shelter afforded, sleeping in the wagon or 



under the open sky. A time for telling" long tales or for thinking long- 
thoughts, a time of exposure and monotony, occasionally a time of thrills 
or a time of fear, but withall when scanned from the distance of the 
years, an interesting time. 

Government supplies were taken from Leavenworth to Fort Sill 
through this county. A government train consisted of from a half 
dozen to a dozen wagons, drawn either by about three span of mules 
or six yoke of cattle — mostly the long-horned Texas cattle. By reason 
of the large spring and attractive location these government trains made 
a camping place at Towanda. The last of such trains to pass through 
Butler county was in the spring of 1871. This train was in charge of 
William Mathewson — the original Buffalo Bill — transporting supplies 
from Leavenworth. Kan., to Fort Sill, Indian Territory. The train con- 
sisted of about fifteen government trail wagons — one wagon hitched to 
another — they were drawn by six yoke of long-horned Texas cattle. On 
account of high water they were compelled to go into camp on the hill 
east of the Whitewater on the preeent townsite of Towanda, about where 
the Robison boys now reside. The Whitewater at that time was out of 
its banks and covered the valley to a depth of almost two feet, from the 
bluffs to the west side of the river. They were in camp at the time for 
a week or ten days. After the waters had subsided they doubled teams 
across the valley — putting twelve yoke to each wagon — -and they made 
some noise as they went across, Buffalo Bill on his cayouse heading 
the way. The long horns of the cattle kept time to the popping of the 
whips of the drivers, who on their ponies were using language somewhat 
more forcible than elegant, but they crossed. 

I have always appreciated the fact of their camping where they did 
at that time, as I thereby met and formed an acquaintance with Mr. 
Mathewson, and whom I had the pleasure of meeting many times 
thereafter. A man of splendid physique, with a heart of like proportion, 
a good comrade ; quiet, modest, unobtrusive, but the master of all he 
undertook ; all under him, obeying his nod, wave of the hand or quiet 
command without murmur ; beloved by all with whom he came in con- 
tact. A typical man of a typical country, he passed away in the city of 
Wichita, March, 1916. The world is better for his having lived. Peace 
to his ashes. 

Stage Coaches — The first carriers of passengers for hire were the 
old Concord coaches, swung on leather springs ; passengers inside, bag- 
gage strapped on the rear, driver on top, and the mail sack in the boot 
at his feet. Each coach was drawn by four horses. Two lines of these 
coaches passed into and through Butler county, commencing in 1870 
and continuing in some form or other until 1872, at which time the 
railroad reached Newton. 

One of these lines operated between Emporia and Wichita, making 
the trip — 100 miles — daily. On the route at points about ten miles in 
distance, were stage stations for the purpose of changing horses. In 


this county these stations were located at Sycamore Springs, Chelsea, 
El Dorado, Towanda and Payne's Ranch on Dr}- Creek. This latter 
way station was typical of primitive life and conditions. The establish- 
ment consisted of an old plains dugout, which was the house, and an- 
other one of similar fashion scooped out of the river bank, which was the 
barn, but was a hospitable stopping place withal. Hay and corn could 
be obtained for the horse, while mankind was offered a choice of crackers, 
cheese, tobacco or "a drop of "something-to-take." The owner of this 
ranch and host of this hospitality was Capt. David L. Payne, the man 
who was afterward largely responsible for the opening up of Oklahoma, 
at the time it was first opened to settlement. Though a man much older 
than myself, he Avas my friend, and a' larger hearted, more liberal com- 
panionable man I have not often met. 

The second of these stage lines passed between Humboldt and 
Wichita. This line made trips tri-weekh^ In writing of this early 
manner of travel the writer's mind harks back to the appointed hour 
when the stage coach was due, it being one of his duties, with his 
brother, to have ready the fresh relay of horses. The hum of excite- 
ment as the old clumsy coach and galloping four appeared on the trail, 
the noise and confusion as they drew up at the door, five minutes' flurry 
of bustle and change, a trading of mail sacks, a few passengers to come 
or go, and the crack of the driver's whip before he had fairly grasped 
the lines as they were tossed up, a final flourish as he disappeared down 
the valley and the thrill went out of life. 

Many also were the experiences of the old stage trails. On one oc- 
casion the outfit pulled up at Towanda, the horses showing evidence of 
an unusually hard drive, and the passengers trembling with an uncanny 
excitement. About two miles out from Payne's Ranch, the last station, 
the dead bodies of two men had been discovered, just outside the line of 
travel. Hoav they came there or where from was never known. The 
bodies had the appearance of having been tied to the rear of a wagon and 
dragged by the neck. Two theories were advanced. One that the men 
had been in possession of stolen property, and that Judge Lynch had 
convened court, tried, sentenced and executed them ; the other theory 
was that the two men were traveling through the country with good 
outfits, which were coveted of someone, and in order to mislead the 
authorities, an attempt had been made to give the impression that the 
dead men had been horse thieves caught in the act. 

Sometimes a driver of the stage line would attempt to carry a load 
more than was visible to the eyes. One of these drivers once left Tow- 
anda, his horses on the run for AA'ichita. By the time he reached the 
Whitewater at the John Heath crossing he was exceeding the speed 
limit to such an extent that, in making a necessary turn, the coach was 
turned completely over, or, as the position was described by an old 
Dutchman, who was inside and who came back to Towanda for assist- 
ance, the coach "sot up." No great damage and no serious injury being 


found, the coach was righted and the journey continued, one of the pas- 
sengers taking a seat with the driver for protectixe piu^poses. 

The Rev. Isaac Alooney. father of the writer, was at that time post- 
master at Towanda and had delivered the mail to this driver. Arrivimr 
at the scene of the accident, Mr. jMooney picked up the mail sack and 
said: "Young- man, when you get sober you may carry mail here, but 
not until then." He then carried the mail back to the office, where it 
remained for the next stage. Thus was postal law and order evolved 
according to the requirements. 

But, remembered also, are the good, careful, accommodating drivers. 
Among these was A\'illiam Hammond, who afterward homesteaded land 
in Fairview township. Another one was Nate Roberson, who located 
in El Dorado, owning and operating the transfer and bus line. An old 
omnibus, a relic of this service, yet remains with us. After the railroad 
was continued from Emporia the route of the Emporia-AMchita line was 
changed, the stage leaving Florence and continuing down the Walnut 
valley to W'infield. The Humboldt line was discontinued. 

The old stage coach da3^s are now gone forever. With the advance- 
ment of the railroad came the disappearance of the stage. This hap- 
pened of necessity ; a natural giving away to progression, to speed, to ex- 
pediency. But one who has lived through the palmy days of the old 
coach-and-four will long remember the experience, the thrills, the 
glories, that may not elsewhere be found. Henry Tisdale, long con- 
nected with stages and stage lines, and who operated a line in Butler 
county, in a reminiscent article concerning his early work, writes thus: 
"There is probably no more pleasing sight than to see, as I have many a 
time, a fine stage team hitched to a Concord coach, well loaded with 
passengers, and hear the driver's horn go out, and see the stage sw^ing 
along like a thing of life. The horses tramp in unison ; the axles talk 
at the wheels work back and forth from nut to shoulder-washer ; driver 
with ferruled whip, and ivory rings on harness, drive up and say AMioa !' 
unhitch the horses and see them take their places in the stable as if 
they were human ; see the next team started from the stable by speak- 
ing to them, and take their places at the coach so the breast straps and 
tugs can be hitched without moving an inch, every horse in his place. 
It is one of the "finest scenes on earth, and the delight of an old stage- 
man who has staged continuously for forty years." 

Railroads — The early railroad history of Butler county is similar to 
that of other new" lands waiting the coming of the iron bands ; a record 
of promise and delay, of attempt and failure, of endeavor and defeat ; 
efforts from the company to secure the co-operation of the settlers ; ef- 
forts of the settlers to enlist the interest of the company. That hopes 
and expectations were high and the pleasure in "paper railroads" was 
great in anticipation, may be gathered from an article taken from the 
first copy of the Walnut Valley "Times," the date being March 4, 1870: 
"Our railroad prospects are brightening day by day as we approach the 



time of their reality and we can almost hear the puffing of the engine 
and the shrill tone of the brakeman as he calls out, 'El Dorado! Twenty 
minutes for dinner ! Change cars for Fort Scott and the East ! Santa 
Fe passengers keep your seats.' Yes, the time is near at hand when 
our people will enjoy the privileges that only railroads bring to a country 
like ours ; rich in resources and only awaiting development. 

"The line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway was last 
summer surveyed and definitely established up the valley of the South 

tAifc««» ■.u,j£attl^«'Si' ^'*''^8fei«j' , 



Fork and down the AValnut vallev via El Dorado. This road is beine 
built with great rapidity and will doubtless be our first to celebrate, 
while the Fort Scott, El Dorado & Santa Fe is preparing for an early 
completion to this place. The P. G. B. & S. F. via El Dorado is an 
extension of the P. F. and is having a large subscription and liberal 
land grants. It will afford us direct connection with all eastern roads at 
Kansas City. The Humboldt, El Dorado & Wichita railroad has been 
recently organized and articles of incorporation filed. Its officers are 
men of energy and ability, besides being personally interested along the 


line of the road, and with the government aid they are promised, they 
propose to complete the road the present year. Among the several rail- 
roads in contemplation by the citizens of El Dorado and many railroads 
that are now being- discussed by the people of Kansas, there is no other 
one of more importance than the Preston, Salina & Denver railway. 
Starting- from Salina, its present northern terminus, it will run a short 
distance up the valley of the Smokey Hill river; thence across and along 
the Cottonwood valley and thence down the fertile and well-timbered 
valley of the Walnut to the south line of the State ; thence south to the 
city of Preston, Texas, where it will meet a line from Galveston, the 
principal city of the gulf coast. Then, to consider the immense riches 
that will develop in agriculture and mining by its northern course, we 
will naturally conclude that this is the natural route for the Great French 
line railway of Kansas and the road of special importance to the citizens 
of El Dorado, as here it will connect with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa 
Fe and our other roads to the east, and commands our appropriation and 
aid. We should, therefore, use our best endeavors to advance its inter- 
ests, as well as the interests of all the roads that are moving in this 
direction, by voting them bonds and urging our representative in Con- 
gress to secure the passage of bills to endow these roads with liberal 
land grants to the end that they may be speedily constructed, when El 
Dorado will be amply compensated by being the railroad center of the 
southwestern Kansas." These roads were none of them built. They 
were only a part of the old settlers' dreams, the "baseless fabric of a 
vision." The Santa Fe continued its way westward, but did in time 
send a branch through the county. 

The first railroad bonds were voted in 1871 to the Walnut Valley 
Railroad Company. In September, 1871, an election was called for Octo- 
ber 10, 1871, on the proposition to vote county bonds in the sum of 
$200,000 to the Walnut Valley Railroad Company, the bonds to be issued 
"when that company, or any other railroad company which the Walnut 
Valley Railroad Company shall legally authorize to do the same, shall 
have completed the said road in accordance with this proposition." The 
result of this election was 526 votes in favor of the bonds and 434 against. 
The bonds were never issued. In 1872 a proposal was made for the Fort 
Scott, Humboldt & Western railroad, this road to come from the east 
through Eureka, El Dorado and to the west line of the county. The 
county was asked to subscribe $150,000 worth of bonds. On April 23, 
1872, an election was called for May 18, 1872. This proposition, submit- 
ted to vote, was defeated, the vote resulting 1,037 for the bonds and 1,240 

A proposition from this same company was again submitted in July 
of the same year, in connection with propositions from two other com- 
panies. This election, called in June, 1872, was ordered for July 13 and 
described as for the purpose of voting bonds as follows : To the Fort 
Scott, Humboldt & AVestern Railway Company, $10,000. the road to pass 


through the townships of Rosalia, Prospect, El Dorado, Towanda and 
Benton ; to the Kansas & Nebraska Railway Company, $100,000, the 
road to come through Plum Grove, Towanda and on to Augusta and 
Douglass ; to the Eureka, Douglass & Santa Fe Railroad Company, 
$100,000, this road to be built by way of Rosalia to the jimcture of the 
north and south forks of the Little A\"alnut. in a southwesterly direc- 
tion, following the valley of the Little Walnut river to Douglass. These 
three propositions were submitted as follows : The proposition of the 
Fort Scott, Humboldt & \\^estern, to be voted on in connection with 
that of the Kansas & Nebraska ; that is, a vote cast for one proposition 
was a vote cast for the other proposition. Likewise the proposition of 
the Eureka, Douglass & Santa Fe was to be voted on in connection with 
that of the Kansas & Nebraska. This maintained a balance of distribu- 
tion of proposed railway over the county. However, the propositions 
were defeated, the vote of the first being 366 in favor of the bonds and 
1,058 against, and that of the second being 189 for and 1,296 against. 

Again, on October 7, 1872, an election was ordered for the purpose 
of voting bonds to the Kansas & Nebraska Railway Company, the pro- 
posed road to be built down the Whitew-ater, through Towanda, Augusta 
and Douglass. The company asked the county for a subscription of 
$200,000. The proposition was voted on and carried, the voting result- 
ing 1,187 foJ" ^rid 811 against. But the panic of 1873 came on and the 
building of the road was first postponed and then abandoned. These 
railroad bonds are all that were voted upon by the county, the voting 
of other bonds from proposed or builded railroads, having been done by 
the townships interested. 

In April, 1876, the Atchison. Topeka & Santa Fe Company proposed 
building a branch line from Cedar Point down the vallev to El Dorado, 
and ultimately to and beyond the south line of the county. This propo- 
sition was for a cash bonus of $3,000 per mile, to be paid by townships 
pro ratio, no exchange of bonds and stocks being asked. The question 
was of much discussion. Evidence grew that a road would be built from 
some point on the main line under some conditions. During the agitation 
Florence made successful interference to have that town the initial point 
of the branch. In February, 1877, bonds aggregating $99,500 were voted 
to the new line, which was designated as the El Dorado & Walnut rail- 
road. Work was at once begun. This was the first laying of the iron 
bands in Butler county. The road was finished as far as El Dorado on 
July 31, 1877, at 6:27 p. m. The terminus of the road was the old station 
in north El Dorado. On September 4, 1877, an excursion train was run 
from Topeka and the citizens of El Dorado were given a free trip to 
Florence and return. This was the occasion of a great jubilee. A cele- 
bration was held in the grove. Governor Anthony being present and 
making the principal address. This road was built on south through 
the county in 1885. Several other roads were in turn proposed but not 
built. The Kansas City, Burlington & Southwestern Railway and Tele- 


graph proposed building east and west. This proposition was considered 
favorably by the townships interested, the vote being 322 to 128. But 
the matter was dropped and the road not built. 

February 21. 1880. the townships of Douglass and AValnut voted aid 
to the St. Louis, \\'ichita & Western. This also was dropped and the 
road never built. In 1879 was the second actual railroad building in 
Butler. The St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita began building a line east 
and west. AVork was begun in 1879. though bonds were not voted by 
the county in behalf of the prospect until 1880. Bonds voted by the 
townships interested were as follows: Rosalia, $10,000; Prospect $18,500; 
and Benton, $11,000, the payment being subject to the actual building 
of the roads. The railroad for many years called the "Sunflower Road," 
is now a part of the Missouri Pacific system. 

The next railroad to enter the county was the Frisco, built in 1879. 
Butler county now has four lines and 212.48 miles of railroad to enter 
and pass through the county. The Florence, El Dorado & Walnut 
Valley, 73.56 miles, a branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, tra- 
verses the county from north to south, passing through Burns, DeGraff, 
El Dorado, Augusta, Gordon and Douglass. This line branches at 
Augusta, passing through Rose Hill to Mulvane. The Missouri Pacific, 
64.79 miles, crossing the county east to west, passes through Rosalia, 
Pontiac. El Dorado, Towanda and Benton. A branch from El Dorado 
passes through Potwin, Brainard and Whitewater. The Frisco railroad, 
64.08 miles, also crosses the county east to west, passing through Beau- 
mont. Keighley, Leon, Haverhill, Augusta and Andover. This road, 
branching at Beaumont, runs through Latham and Atlanta. The Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific, 10.05 miles, crosses the county in the northwest 
corner, passing through Whitewater and Elbing. 

Communication — When the early settlers came into the county, they 
isolated themselves in deed and in truth from relatives left behind and 
from news of the outside world. The nearest postoffice was at 
Lawrence. There a box — "Box 400" — was rented by the residents ot 
Butler. All mail thus addressed w^as sent down to Emporia by hack. 
From Emporia the mail was sent down into this county as anyone 
chanced to be passing this way. Think of it. We, wnth our free de- 
liveries and parcel post and the five or six daily papers that each needs 
must have. 

In 1858 Chelsea was made a regular distributing station for mail, 
and in i860 a postoffice was established at El Dorado. In 1863 a regu- 
lar mail line was established, running from Cottonwood Falls, through 
Butler county, to Wichita. These mail lines thus established were called 
star routes. The places on these routes were commonly designated in 
the books of the postoffice with an asterisk or "star." Contracts were 
let l)v the government for the carrying of the mail in this manner. 

A mail carrier remembered is Frank Harrison, who carried all the 
mail for Butler countv in 1866. Mr. Harrison made the trips on horse- 


back, taking three days for the round trip from Cottonwood Falls, and 
delivering the mail once a week. There were three postoffices in the 
county at that time, Chelsea, El Dorado and Towanda. L. M. Pratt was 
postmaster at Chelsea, Henry Martin at El Dorado and Sam Fulton at 
Towanda. Mr. Harrison received $450 for carrying the mail. Gilbert 
Green of Towanda had the contract for carrying the mail on the route 
through the early seventies. This time a spring wagon or buckboard 
was used. Mr. Green and his sons were all fearless horsemen and hard 
drivers, and one of the memories of that period is the familiar sight of 
one of the Green boys flying across the country with a galloping horse 
and rattling, bounding, bouncing old buckboard. 

One star route remains in Butler county today, a line running from 
El Dorado to Cassoday. The present driver is W. H. McCraner, who 
uses a Ford car, and makes the trip daily. 

Automobiles — The automobile, which came seemingly to play, has 
remained to work. Such a short season since the first appearance, and 
how swift the increase. Automobiles have passed from being a curiosity ; 
have gone beyond being a luxury. They are a material feature of the 
great operating force which turns the great wheel of Butler county life 
and fortune today. The first automobile was brought into the county 
about 1903 by Warren E. Brown, of Augusta. The second one was 
owned by Dr. Richardson, then of Augusta, and the third one by Dr. F. 
E. Garvin, also of Augusta. Thus, Augusta had three the head start of 
the county. The first automobile in El Dorado was owned by Dr. J. A. 
McKinzie. Dr. McKinzie, while trying to ascend a hill in Riverside, lost 
control of his machine. It turned off the embankment, pinning him 
underneath, which accident resulted in his death some days later. In 
the county now, 1916, there are about 1,150 automobiles and eighty-five 
motorcycles. Also may be found twenty-eight dealers in automobiles 
and three dealers in motorcycles. 






By N. A. Yeager. 

Augusta township was organized April 4. 1870, by the board of 
county commissioners, on petition of C. N. James and others. It in- 
cluded the present territory of Augusta, Bruno, Spring and the north 
halves of Pleasant, A\'alnut and Bloomington townships. The following 
township officers were appointed until the regular election : Daniel 
Stine, trustee ; A. Palmer, treasurer, and C. N. James, clerk. The first 
election was held at Augusta, May 14, 1870, which was a special election 
called to vote on the proposition to move the county seat from El 
Dorado to Chelsea. The vote was 119 for and 9 against. • The next elec- 
tion was a special election on June 27, 1870, to vote $25,000 bonds for 
county buildings at El Dorado. The vote was 253 against and none for 
the proposition. 

At the first general election the following officers were elected : 
Daniel Stine, trustee; E. R. Powell, treasurer; H. M. Winger, clerk; 
William Treweeke and W. D. Mead, justices of the peace. At this elec- 
tion the county herd law was also voted upon. The present boundaries 
of Augusta township were established by the county commissioners 
April 4, 1870. The town of Augusta was incorporated February 8, 1871, 
upon the petition of C. N. James and eighty other taxpayers of the town. 
C. N. James, Thomas H. Baker, W. A.Shaimon, G. W. Brown and J. R. 
Nixon were appointed board of trustees. At the first regular election 
C. N. James was elected mayor. In 1868, Shamleffer and James opened 
the first store near the corner of Third and State streets, in a log build- 
mo- which has since been weather-boarded and is now used as a resi- 
dence. It is now known as No. 309 State street. 

On January 2, 1869, the postoffice was established with Mr. James 
as postmaster, and the postoffice and the town were given the name of 
Augusta, in honor of his wife, Augusta James. Immediately across the 




Street from the postoffice the first hotel was built and operated by i\Ir. 
Mitchell, and is now known as Xo. 308 State street. 

Prior to this time the adventurers and explorers of this region 
recognized the commercial importance of this location for a city, and 
two town companies were formed and platted this location in 1857 and 
1858, and its natural advantages were advertised and exploited by the 
respective promoters in the east. One of these towns was named Ari- 
zonia and the other Fontanelle. They were both located on the present 


iifii r 


townsite. About this time an investigation was had by some of the 
purchasers of lots, and a survey was made which started from a known 
boundary line stone on the Xeosho river, near Humboldt, and was run 
due west through this county. It was discovered that the townsites 
wxre on the Osage Indian tract and were not subject to sale, and these 
towns died, as did also the hopes of their founders and the eastern in- 
vestors to make fortunes. It is said that C. X. James, in 1868. pur- 
chased the relinquishment on which the original townsite is located for 
S40. Daniel Stine is recognized as being the oldest permanent white 
settler of this township. He came to Butler county in 1858. A man 
named Hilderbrand had preceded him to this county and took a claim 
east of El Dorado on what is now the county farm. A few years after- 
ward it is said that Hilderbrand was suspected of conducting some deal- 
ings in horses at night which made him unpopular, and he received an 
urgent invitation to emigrate. There is no record of how or when he 


In 1868, the government concluded a treaty with the Indians where- 
by they rehnqnished their claim to a strip twenty miles wide on the 
north side of their reservation. This is known as the Osage Indian trust 
land, the northern boundary of which is about six miles north of 
Augusta. In 1869 A. Palmer brought in a saw mill which was located 
on the west banks of the Walnut river, immediately north of the present 
residence of Mrs. M. J. Loy. The first residence of the town was erected 
in 1869, on the. corner of State street and Fourth avenue. This building 
is now occupied and owned by G. W. Ohmart, and was built almost en- 
tirely of native lumber from the Palmer mill. October i, 1870, the 
United States land office was located at Augusta. This was largely due 
to the influence and energy of Thomas H. Baker, who afterward served 
.n the State legislature. Andrew Akin was registrar and W. A. Shan- 
non, receiver. The land office brought with it a large influx of immi- 
gration to this county, and Augusta experienced its first boom. The 
county settled rapidly, and the flood of immigrants pouring down the 
valley were enraptured by the broad fertile valleys, the beautiful streams 
and abundance of walnut and other valuable timber fringing them. 

Augusta was especially favored by being in the center from which 
these fertile valleys radiated. The Whitewater river from the north, the 
Walnut from the northeast, Indianola creek from the northwest, centered 
at this point; and Four-Mile creek, a few miles to the southwest, and 
the Little Walnut river and Flickory creek, to the southeast, made an 
ideal location for the central point of a rich agricultural community. 
About this time the Santa Fe Railroad Company, recognizing the com- 
mercial importance of this point, made a survey from Emporia, with a 
view to extending its line from that place, but either from lack or grasp 
of the importance and advantage of this move by the citizens of 
Augusta, or from some reasons which are not now definitely ascertain- 
able, the railroad company abandoned the project and extended its line 
w^est to Newton, and afterward to Wichita, and the land office was 
moved to the latter place. It is generally conceded by the old-time resi- 
dents that Augusta failed to avail itself of an opportunity which might 
have changed the map of this part of the state, and in which they were 
assisted by some of the old-time residents of El Dorado. 

In September, 1870, The Augusta "Crescent," the first newspaper, 
was established by A. A. Putnam and L. J. Perry. These editors were 
succeeded by J. B. Davis, who changed its name to The Augusta "Re- 
publican.'' He was succeeded by U. A. Albin, who in 1874 discontinued 
the publication with this short valedictory: "The patronage we have 
received will not justify us in risking a continuance. 'Since self-preser- 
vation is the first law of nature,' we will endeavor to locate where we 
can do best." Afterward The Southern Kansas "Gazette" was estab- 
lished by the late Charles H. Kurtz, and in 1880 ]\Ir. Albin repented, 
returned and established the "Republican." 




In 1872 a county seat electiun was held, in which Augusta received 
a majority of 206 over El Dorado. The removal of the county seat was 
contested by El Dorado and the matter was taken into the courts and 
decided against Augusta on a techincality. This county seat agitation 
continued for a ntmiber of years, to the detriment of both places, and 
greatly retarded the development of the county. The same year the 
land office was moved to ^^'ichita. \\'ith the loss of the land office and 
the county seat, the population of Augusta decreased and the specu- 
lators, who are the mainsprings in townsite promotion, lost heart and 
abandoned Augusta for more promising fields. In 1880 the Frisco rail- 
road was completed and Augusta took on new life. In 1881. the Santa 
Fe extended its line through Augusta to Douglass. AMthin six months 


the population doubled and continued to increase steadily for several 
years. Stone quarries were opened up in this vicinity and good building 
stone was quarried for local use and for shipment. From 1888 to 1898 
the financial stringency over the entire country retarded the progress 
of Augusta, as well as all the towns in the State, but Augusta still main- 
tained its reputation of being one of the best towns of its size in Kansas 
because of its favored natural resources. 

In 1906. the city (largely upon the advice and earnest solicitation of 
Mr. Yeager, the writer of this article — Editor), took up tlie develop- 
ment of gas for municipal purposes and commenced to furnish its citi- 
zens with gas at a low rate, and now has a gas plant which is estimated 
to be worth $100,000, paid for out of the proceeds of the gas. In 1908, 
the city put in a water system. In 1913, an electric light system was in- 



Stalled, largely paid fur uut ol the gas receipts. In 19 lO the city com- 
pleted a sanitary sewer system. From the development of the oil field, 
the growth of Augusta has been very rapid; the census shows for 1915 
a population of 1.400. and for 1916, 3.575, and is still increasing in the 
same ratio. Its future growth and importance will be determined largcly 
l)v circumstances and the wisdom and energy of its citizens. 

To the archaeologist Augusta presents an interesting field. Across 
the Walnut river from the present city are to be found ruins of an an- 
cient citv co\ering man}- times the territory now covered by Augusta. 
Here is to be found the evidences of very ancient races of people, and 


fragments of pottery as ancient as the pyramids of Egypt. Fragments 
of rock used in the manufacture of tools, which are not found this side of 
Lake Superior or the Rocky Mountains ; hand mills for the grinding of 
grain, manufactured from stone not found in this vicinity; small mounds 
extending from section 4 in Walnut township to section 26, Augusta 
township, representing the accumulations, perhaps, of centuries. In 
these are the fragmentary e\idence that delights the antiquarian and 
appeals to our imagination and fancy. Here is represented an age in 
which all implements and cutlery were manufactiu^ed of stone. The 
])rocess of the manufacture of implements and knives and weapons is 
unknown today, and must have represented the highest skill, evi- 
dencing a civilization far above the American Indian. 

This location was selected, doubtless, for its commercial advantages 



as well as from strategic reasons. The three sides of this — to the east, 
north and west, defines a wall almost perpendicular, ranging from 
twenty-five to fifty feet high, at the foot of which runs the deep chan- 
nel of the Walnut, making an attack from this direction, with ancient 
weapons, almost impossible. Here large springs furnish ample water 
supply of the best character. The Inidan has it that many bloody battles 
were fought to gain and hold this important point. Doubtless this was 
the best hunting ground in the mid-continent. Here we find the first 
timbered protection and the first permanent water for the game and 
animal life which necessarily must have sought shelter from the bliz- 
zards and winter storms which swept the plains, and the drought which 
parched the great American desert. Here the rich valleys afforded 
game for the primeval inhabitants. 

According to Indian tradition, the last great battle was fought in 
the low grounds between the present site of Augusta and the White- 
water and Walnut rivers. If Indian tradition can be relied upon, many 
thousand braves in hand encounter battled and perished in this last 
great struggle for this stronghold, and that several thousands of braves 
perished in this battle. AVhatever may have transpired before the pres- 
ent civilization conquered this territory is largely a matter of con- 
jecture. One civilization succeeding another of different type, one race 
of people succeeding another different in character, has been the history 
of all time, doubtless true of this locality. And the importance of this 
location was recognized and built upon in the histories of all these tribes 
and races. 


By J. C. Henrie and Elmer Dickerson. 

Benton township was named after or for the late Thomas Benton 
Murdock, using his middle name. It was organized in February, 1872, 
out of the territory comprising Congressional township 26, range 3, and 
an election ordered held at the general election in April for the election 
of township officers, at or near the residence of M. T. Wallace. The 
officers elected at that time were as follows : John Mendenhall, trustee ; 
L. A. Harper, clerk; W. H. Litson, treasurer; W. J. Estes and Charles 
Hazelhurst, justices of the peace. The assessed valuation of the town- 
ship for 1872 was $20,296, and for 1915, $1,311,059. The township is 
adapted to agriculture and stock raising. All kinds of cereals and 
grasses, tame and native, grow and flourish. There are five school dis- 
tricts in the township, and about seven miles of the Missouri Pacific 

The town of Benton was platted in 1883 and now contains a high 
school, two churches, one grain elevator, five general stores, two hard- 
ware stores, one drug store, one bank, one hotel, two garages, two physi- 
cians, two blacksmith shops, the orders of the K. of P. and I. O. O. F., 



each having their own halls, and are in a flourishing condition ; one lum- 
ber yard, coal yard and numerous other lines of business are represented. 
The town is lighted by electricity. Benton has also one newspaper, The 
Benton "Bulletin," published by John W. Milsap, and enjoys a good 
circulation and liberal patronage of its advertising columns. 

Amog the early settlers were J. P. J. Nelson, J. Edmiston, \\'. H. 
Litson, E. E. Armstrong, Noah Siders, William Coverdale, R. C. Spauld- 
ing, R. F. Moore, W. A. Aikman, John H. Clark, S. H. Dickerson, Robert 
Dodge, M. T. Wallace, ]. C. Henrie, Ed. Harding, M. Gidly, E. H. Stod- 
dard, S. Shafer, I. A\\ Maple, E. W. Rollings, M. W. Priest, John Im- 


man, Andrew Duffey, L. A. Harper, H. W. Beck, E. Durley, Eli Lytle, 
A. Melrose, D. Barnett, George Medworth, W. M. Mathers,' W. M. Mc- 
Cune, J. L. McCune, Charles Hazelhurst and many others. Practically 
every quarter section was occupied by the claimant or owner at the 
time the township was organized, a majority of w4iom have gone from 
among us never more to return ; others moved aw^ay and a few still own 
their original homesteads, while others are occupied by the descendants 
of the homesteader. 



On x\pril I. 1872, a petition was presented to the board of county 
commissioners asking that a new township, described as follows: Begin- 
ning at the northeast corner of section 4, in township 28, south of range 
6, east; thence running west nine miles; thence south six miles; thence 
east nine miles ; thence north six miles to the place of beginning, to be 
called Bloomington township, and Fields' shop was recommended as 
the voting place. The petition was granted and an election of township 
officers ordered held on April 20, 1872. The election resulted as follows : 
I. X. Crawford, trustee; H. H. Fowler, treasurer; Samuel Major, clerk. 

The first settler or squatter in what is now Bloomington township 
was Samuel Rankin, who attempted to locate on a quarter section of 
land in 1867. What became of him is among the things that are not 
known. Among the early settlers of the township as now described are 
D. S. Yates, Daniel Franklin, Fred and W. A. Ward, W. H. Allen, Alex 
Covert, Richard Padgham. J. B. Seaman, X. M. A. Whitrow, H. H. 
Fowler, Chris Wirth, AA^illiam Schoeb, John Riffe, J- P- Bogle, T. C. 
Crowley, Sam Major, Gid Stevens and many others. Very few, if any, 
now own their original claim, and as nearly as can be ascertained, none 
are now living thereon. 

This is a well watered township, and had at one time a good grist 
mill for grinding wheat, etc., by water power. Much live stock is raised, 
handled arid fed from the products of the farms. 


By A. M. Wolf. 

Application for a new township in Congressional township 27, range 
3, east of the sixth principal meridian, to be called Highland township, 
and to include all of township 2"] and the north half of township 28, the 
election to be held at the school house in district 61. The application 
was presented to the board of county commissioners and granted, and 
the election was to be held on April 20. 1872. On April 9, 1872, a petition 
was presented, and granted, for changing the name of Highland town- 
ship to Bruno township. The election on April 20, 1872, the first officers 
elected were as follows: X. B. Daniels, trustee; Jacob Brown, treasurer; 
D. J. Reber, clerk; Isaac X^ewland and Samuel Reed, justices of the 
peace ; AMlliam Riser and Isaac Stroup, constables. 

The first settlement of Bruno township was commenced in Febru- 
ary, i869> by Vincent Smith, being the first settler arriving on section 3 
on Dry Creek. Upon his arrival, and to his surprise, he found about 500 
Indians, and he traveled on horseback up this creek from Augusta to its 
beginning in Sedgwick county. He then went south across the prairie 
on to what is called Four-Mile creek. Traveling down this creek he 


came to a large spring of water now known as Seltzer Springs, just over 
the line in Sedgwick county. He continued to follow this creek, and 
as he came within about three miles of the Walnut River, he saw what 
looked to him to be a dugout, and upon examining it found it inhabited 
by a white man, and interrogating the old gentleman, found that he had 
been a sailor on the high seas and that his name was Franklin. Smith 
then proceeded down the creek to the W^alnut river and on down to where 
'\\'infield now stands. His intentions were on starting a town site for a 
county seat, and upon his arrival the first night, he again found himself 
among Indians, and they, stealing his horse, told liim that "white man 
was too fresh." Finding that the land had not been surveyed, he then 
traveled on foot to Cottonwood Falls and then came back in the early 
spring, about the tenth of May, 1869- and filed on the southwest quarter 
of section 3, the land office at that time being at Humboldt. Kan.. Noth- 
ing much Avas done during the year 1869 until the early spring of 1870, 
when the early settlers began to arrive, a man by the name of Champion, 
a blacksmith ; Harry and Frank Kelley, C. A. Glancey and Mr. Graham 
taking up claims along Dry creek. About October i, 1870, a few more 
settlers began to arrive, of whom some are still remembered, being Mr. 
Wolf. F. A. James and James Collison ; and then no fiu'ther settlement 
until the spring of 1871, when settlers began to arri\'e from the East, 
settling up the township, and, in fact, every quarter section was taken, 
and improvements began at once and have continued to improve until 
this spring. The citizens of Bruno township can proudly say that we 
rank among the foremost in Butler county, having a fine high school, 
elevators, churches and well improved farms ; also able business men 
and an excellent set of farmers. In the early spring of 1870. a few 
settlers that were here got together and names were suggested for the 
township, and it was finally agreed to delegate Mr. Graham to name it, 
and he suggested the name and called it Bruno. The first railroad 
through Bruno township was built in 1880. Bonds to the amount of 
$18,000 for the extension of the Frisco railway were voted and the road 
was completed through the township in May, 1880. 

Andover, the county seat of Bruno township, was platted by Charley 
A. Glancey in 1880. It is a thriving little village on the Frisco railroad. 
It has one general store, owned by W. E. Peacock; bank. Earl J. Fanner, 
cashier; lumber yard, S. B. McClaren ; millinery, barber and blacksmith 
shops, postoffice and other lines represented and all doing a good busi- 


By Martin Vaught. 

In August, 1857, George T. Donaldson, J. C. Lambdin, his son Ralph, 
and myself, camped at Emporia, at that time a \illage of less than a 
dozen houses. We were looking for homes and ollicrs joined us, among 


whom were William Woodruff and wife, James Leander, Horace Cole, 
Stephen AVhite, Israel, Tom and Dave Scott and their mother, Mrs. De- 
Racken and her sons. Bob, John and Ruben ; William Rice, and' last, but 
not least, Prince Gorum Davis Morton, who, having a wooden limb, was 
vulgarly dubbed pegleg". There came to our camp, too, with a long 
swinging stride, a long rifle on his shoulder, a large pack on his back, 
carrying his boots, while his feet were unshod, his hat rimless and cloth- 
ing in tatters, a man who had been on an extended tramp. His hair 
was light, his eyes blue and bright and contrasted strikingly with his sun- 
tanned skin. His name was I. N. Barton, college professor and civil 
engineer from Maine. He had come to Kansas for health and had found 
it, having explored every stream south of Xeosho and as far west as Cow 
creek, west of Wichita. His description of the W^alnut and Whitewater 
valleys and prediction that in and near them was the garden spot of 
Kansas won us, and we unanimously decided to go with him and see 
them. We crossed the Cottonwood where now is Soden's mill and pro- 
ceeded across the trackless prairie southwest, up the south fork of the 
Cottonwood, over the divide to Sycamore Springs and down the Walnut 
to the hill where J. K. Nelson's house stands, northeast of Chelsea. We 
halted and took in the beautiful expanse, over the valley to the south, to 
Cole creek on one hand and DeRacken on the other. Surprised and 
pleased, we went into camp on what is now the Phineas Osborn farm, 
a half mile east of Chelsea. 

We quickly took our claims. We went to building log cabins — 
homes — with a will. The three Cole brothers settled on the stream — 
on section i6, now the Shelden farm — that bears their name. The De- 
Rackens took claims on the stream to which they gave their name, now 
incorrectly spelled Durachen. We found Doctor Lewellyn settled on 
the land which is his home today, and Charles Jefferson, father of Henry, 
the first white boy born in Butler county — thirty-six years ago, or 
1859 — was his neighbor on the north. Henry Martin, afterward so promi- 
nent in Butler county affairs, was farther down the stream. All the land 
about us was unsurveyed and none could tell where to run lines that 
would encompass all he desired, but it was in October, 1857. when I 
took my claim (because of the abundant timber on it) at the j.unction 
of DeRacken with the main stream, now the C. H. Dawson farm. 

"Pegleg" Morton was from Boston, which was to him the hub of the 
solar and other systems. He was a good singer and enlivened our camp 
with songs whenever not engaged in relating his adventures, the like of 
which never were on land or sea. He had sung to the elite of earth, even 
the crowned heads of Europe as far back as Mary Queen of Scots. We 
kept tab on him and figured up by his romancing that he Avas not under 
400 years old. He claimed to be only 35. Morton named Chelsea. He 
wanted to call it Boston or New Boston, because he was from Boston. 
We compromised on Chelsea, which is a town near Boston, and Chelsea 
it is even to this day. The first plat was made by a company on what is 


now the Buchanan and Nelson farms, in 1858, and another, I believe, in 
1867, where the school house now is. The Cole brothers and White 
were from Wisconsin; Woodruff and Rice, Iowa; Scotts, Illinois; Lamb- 
din, Indiana; Donaldson and myself, last, anyhow, from Jefferson coun- 
ty, Kansas. The Lord only knows where the DeRackens did come from. 

In fifty-eight the fifth parallel was the line between Butler and 
Hunter county on the south. W^est of range 4 was Otoe ; south of Otoe, 
Irving, while the east line of Butler crossed Fall river near Eureka. 

Among the several families that came in the fall of fifty-eight was 
Daniel Shipley, a burly Missourian, who rarely wore a hat or shoes. His 
shirt flared open at the bosom and his arms were bare. He was always 
ready for a fight. Ewing Moxley was another, a thorough frontiersman, 
born in the wilds, an unerring marksman, fearless, honest and simple and 
tender as a child. I never read Fenimore Cooper's "Leather Stocking 
Tales" without thinking of Moxley. He had been a government scout 
and guide on the plains and while carrying dispatches was drowned 
in the Kaw river near Lawrence in attempting to swim his horse across it. 

Henderson Thomas first settled on what is now the Henry Diller 
farm in Sycamore. F. B. McAllister started a blacksmith shop on the 
Cogeshall farm north of Nelson. Settlers came in rapidly and took 
claims on all the creeks, the more heavily timbered ones first. William 
Thoroughman was the first settler on Satchell creek. He subsequently 
sold his land fot- $300 to Thomas W. Satchell, who gave his name to the 
stream. This was afterward the Shaffer brothers' farm and is now owned 
by Charles L. King. It has on it a magnificent spring which furnished 
water even in i860, the year of the terrible drouth. 

Our most accessible postoffice was Lawrence. A tri-weekly hack 
was running from Lawrence to Emporia, and Chelsea and Emporia 
people rented box 400 at Lawrence, to which their mail was addressed. 
Whoever went to Emporia brought down the mail for Chelsea, receiving 
it from Messrs. Fick & Eskride, merchants. Ox teams were used for 
all purposes, whether freighting or going to church or a dance. 

L. M. Pratt, his wife and sons, John and Dick, came in the winter 
of fifty-seven-fifty-eight; also Matthew Cowley, James Trask and Dr. S. 
P. Barrett. Settlements were made on West Branch, upper Whitewater, 
and on Fall river by a Norwegian colony, whose names even to this day 
prove that they stayed. Such as Ole Ladd and H. G. Branson were 
leaders. In troublous times we found them loyal and true. 

Our amusements were hunting buffalo, deer and turkeys, which 
abounded. I have seen the prairies between the Whitewater and the 
Arkansas black with apparently one herd of buffalo. Turkeys came to 
our corn cribs. Lambdin shot one in his crib one Christmas morning. 
Dances were frequent. James Gordy and John Pratt, both still living, 
the one at Oklahoma City, the other at Cottonwood Falls, were the 
fiddlers — Gordy played half a tune and Pratt the other half, passing the 
fiddle back and forth. We stayed all night. One time we started to a 


dance with an ox team and picked up so many girls that the boys had 
to walk. 

My first acquaintance with Bige Bemis was when I found him 
roasting- chickens in camp. His was probably the first restaurant in the 
valley ; we got all the chicken we wanted and a drink out of his whiskey 
jug for fifty- cents. 

Ill the spring of fifty-nine C. S. Lambdin, cousin of J. C. Lambdin, 
built a saw and grist mill at Chelsea, the settlers hauling the machinery 
from Leroy. We now established independent municipal organization 
and we voted on one of the numerous state constitutions submitted to 
us. The first election was in a grove near Joseph McDaniel's house, on 
Buchanan's farm. We used an old coffee mill for a ballot box, furnished 
by Mrs. Woodruff to help us out of the dilemma. The drawer would be 
pulled, the ballot deposited, the drawer closed and the will of an Ameri- 
can Kansas elector was expressed. 

Archibald Ellis came to us this summer, a sterling man in every re- 
lation, a true man. excellent citizen, fine neighbor and honest officer. 
He and his most estimable wife were from Ireland. They were inde- 
fatigable workers and generous and kindly beyond expression to their 
neighbors and friends. They are remembered by hundreds in Butler 
county for their strength of character, their integrity, thrift and energy. 
Their children are among the prominent people of the county, and are 
wealthy, not alone by what they inherited, but by what they themselves 
have won. George (now deceased) and John have splendid farms which 
thev till with profit. John was county commissioner and served two 
terms. Mrs. X. B. Cogeshall, who resides near Chelsea, is their only 

Illustrating the liglit hold the moral code had on some, let me say 
that manv horses had mysteriously disappeared and were traced very 
close to beRacken's, and Bob was suspected. A vigilance committee 
called on him but he was discreetly absent. His younger brother was 
caught and ordered to tell where Bob was. He refused, a rope was 
brought and he was hung by the neck repeatedly, but he was steadfast 
and said they might take his life, but they couldn't make him tell, and 
they didn't. The DeRackens, however, "made themselves scarce." 

J. C. Lambdin was elected to the upper house of the territorial 
council of fifty-nine, the member of the lower house coming from Chase 
county. Lambdin was also a member of the constitutional convention 
in i860, and under that constitution the State was admitted, January 29, 

The year i860 surpassed beyond expression any I ever saw in 
Kansas. It was a year of unprecedented drouth — May, June and July 
passed without a drop of rain. Every green thing withered ; even the 
leaves on the trees turned yellow and then brown. The streams dried 
up. Fish innumerable died, and as the deep water holes dried away they 
were pitched into a wagon and hauled to hogs. Great seams cracked 


in the earth. It was really dangerous to ride a pony at speed across the 
prairie. To add to our woes along- in August came myriads of grass- 
hoppers that literally hid the sun. Many settlers, under these distressing 
circumstances, coupled with the doubt what democracy meant to do re- 
garding their homesteads, left the State never to return. This awful 
year gave Kansas a name that was a detriment to her for years after. 

A settler named Gordon died, and his widow, trying to save the 
claim and house, went to Lawrence, where she had friends who would 
furnish her money. Her claim was "jumped" by a man and his two sons, 
who shall be nameless here. They had taken possession, but George T. 
Donaldson notified the settlers of the facts and in a short time a hundred 
men were at the widow's cabin fighting mad. It was dusk and the 
jumpers were within. Donaldson hailed them. They refused to open 
the door and Donaldson promptly kicked it into the middle of the cabin. 
The inmates were ordered to strike a light, which they did. They said 
they were going to hold the claim. The settlers expressed a different 
view and directed that they load their "plunder" into their wagon and 
get off immediately. They pleaded that their horses were on the prairie 
and cotild not be found. It was no use, the settlers made them load up, 
the old man was required to take the end of the tongue and each boy a 
single tree and the procession moved. When they reached a big drift 
near Lewellyn's they were halted. The drift was fired and preparations 
made to hold an impromptu court. The culprits were ready to promise 
anything and were turned loose. That broke up claim jumping. 

The first law suit was before Jutice Scott. Rev. Isaac Winberg, of 
Cole creek, had a yoke of oxen that broke into a neighbor's field. The 
neighbor brought suit for damages. A. J. Miller was attorney for the 
plaintiff and "Pegleg" Morton for the defendant. The case was heard 
and the jury retired to deliberate in the shade of a tree. Dan Shipley 
was foreman and, when a verdict was quickly reached, marched the jury 
back, single file. Barefooted, bareheaded, shirt wide open, sleeves rolled 
up and his stiff hair standing on end, he loomed before the court. "Have 
you agreed on a verdict?" said Justice Scott. "Yes, by G — d, we have," 
said Shipley. "Hand it to the court." said Scott. "Well, judge, by G — d, 

it ain't writ," said the foreman. "We, the jury in the d d case decide 

that this here court hain't got no jurisdiction; we'll be d d if old 

Pratt shall run this county !" Miller protested and Shipley told him to 

"shut his d d mouth or there'd be a get a good licking 

quick." The case ended. 

Rev. J. S. Saxby was a Congregational minister who took to the 
frontier like a duck to water. He created quite a sensation by his bril- 
liant sermons, until some too critical persons who read the New York 
"Independent" claimed to have discovered a remarkable similarity be- 
tween his discourses and those of Henry Ward Beecher. Saxby was a 
good feeder. Any old settler can tell of his marvelous gastronomic feats. 
Getting ready for a buffalo hunt, Saxby was preparing to grease his 


wagon, having only a small piece of tallow for the purpose. He laid it 
down for a moment, a dog bolted it, whereupon he calmly shot the dog, 
removed the lubricant by means of a butcher knife and was soon ready 
to roll out. 

Some buffalo hunters coming in off the plains in 1859 became fright- 
ened at what they thought to be hostile Indians. They alarmed the 
settlers on Whitewater and the lower Walnut. There was a great stam- 
pede to Chelsea. One of the hunters, Jerry Woodruff, mounted a pony 
at Towanda springs and, with a butcher knife for a spur, made the trip 
to Chelsea in quick time, feeling for his scalp at every jump and warning 
everybody he saw. The settlers barricaded the C. S. Lamblin (log) 
house that stood on the then townsite not far from where J. K. Nelson's 
house now is. Some of the settlers declared that as they came they saw 
houses burning on the Whitewater. Wagons were formed into corrals 
with the stock inside. Water was provided in the house and every 
preparation made to stand off the noble Red Man. Pickets were posted 
by Capt. George T. Donaldson, who commanded, among them "Pegleg" 
Morton. Along toward morning, when Indians usually make attacks, 
he heard the whizz of arrows coming from the river. In a panic he fired 
his gun and broke for the house yelling "Indians ! Indians ! The Indians 
have come ! !" Consternation reigned. Children cried ; mothers prayed ; 
men swore and prepared to sell their lives dearly. The redskins didn't 
advance at once and cool men said we'll reconnoiter. They advanced 
with Morton to his picket post when whizz ! whizz ! went the arrows. 
"That's them," said Morton, "they're shooting at us!" But the sounds 
were nothing more nor less than goshawks gathering their food as they 
flew. Morton never heard the last of his scare. The Indians didn't 
come, and those of the settlers who quit running at Chelsea (some didn't, 
continuing on to "the States") returned to their claims. The alarm was 
due to the passing of Indians from the southwest to fight with the Kaws 
near Council Grove. The false character of the scare was not discovered 
until P. B. Plumb, at the head of a small company from Emporia, came 
down to help repel the Indians. Emporia was a little selfish perhaps. 
She wanted the people of the Walnut as a buffer between herself and 
the Indians. Neither storm nor flood could restrain Plumb and his men 
in after years from coming to our relief at the least hint of trouble. 

George T. Donaldson was Chelsea's first postmaster. Many early 
pioneers recall him. He was a natural leader, keen, quiet, soft spoken, 
with a dash and daring when there was a call for action that made him 
the admiration of the settlers. He had good judgment and was never 
"rattled" by emergencies. He had accumulated some 800 acres of land, 
was in the very prime and vigor of manhood, when in hauling logs, on 
November 4, 1869, one of them rolled off the wagon, crushing him upon 
a wheel as it went. 

The awful drouth of i860 was most disheartening and hundreds of 
settlers left their claims. Agents went to the States and solicited aid. 


S. C. Pomeroy, afterward United States Senator, was relief agent at 
Atchison and all supplies were shipped to him. The human hogs came 
to the front, as usual on such occasions, but generally relief was fairly 
distributed. Grain, flour and beans were shipped in heavy grain bags 
which were afterward utilized for clothing, on which the lettering would 
show. Sometimes it would be "S. C. Pomeroy" on one leg, "Kansas 
Relief" on the other and "Atchison" somewhere else. A pair of pants 

worn by Bixler took the cake. He was both broad and tall and 

on the broadest part of his pants in black letters was "Kansas Relief, S. 
C. Pomeroy, Atchison, Kansas." 

I went to my old home in Edgar county, Illinois, in the fall of i860 
and did what I could soliciting aid for "Bleeding Kansas," a name given 
in derision by proslavery people. When I returned in the spring of 
sixty-one I did not come alone. I had induced a brave-hearted girl to 
cast her lot with mine. To my wife is due in great measure the credit 
of our staying through the dangers and privations which followed. The 
"Border War" in Kansas and the issues leading thereto had become na- 
tional and the Civil War came on. The Indians were restless and threat- 
ening. Many settlers abandoned their homes. A majority of the able- 
bodied men enlisted in the Union cause. A more patriotic and heroic 
people never lived than the Kansans of sixty-one and sixty-five. Enlist- 
ments from our section were discouraged. Col P. B. Plumb declared 
that one of us was worth more to the country here than ten of us in the 
army because of the rebel and Indian raids which we could repel. We 
kept up a military organization in readiness most of the time for quick 

Butler county's first organization was in 1859, when J. R. Lamb- 
din (Joshua?) was chosen county clerk; C. S. Lambdin, county treasurer; 
J. C. Lambdin, probate judge; Dr. Lewellyn, sheriff, and George T. Don- 
aldson, Dr. P. G. Barrett and Jacob Landis, county commissioners. This 
organization failed, most of the officers moving away. 

In sixty-two more grief came to us. Nevin A. Vaught and Ole Bran- 
son gave their young lives to their country and were buried in unknown 
graves near Springfield, Mo. Soon after followed Moses, Thomas and 
Burge Atwood. I cannot recall all, but I know that few who enlisted 

In those days buffalo and wolf hunting was a source of revenue. 
Wolf pelts were worth $1.25 to $2 each and buffalo skins brought from 
v$3 to $6. These furs had to be taken in the winter, and danger from 
storms and Indians made hunting no pleasant work. 

In sixty-three Rev. I. C. Morse, of Emporia, Congregationalist, 
preached to us occasionally. Elder Rice, who was presiding elder of the 
Emporia M. E. Church, preached each quarter at Donaldson's (log) 
house that stood but a short distance south and west of where the stone 
dwelling is on the Holderman farm. Father Stanbury. an itinerant 
Methodist and an unique character, also came occasionally. 


Society as now defined was unknown yet, and the people were 
bound by social ties that do not now exist. One neighbor could not do 
too much for another. None thoug'ht of locking doors or granaries. 
Strangers were welcomed with genuine hospitality and entertainment 
for man and beast was free. 

Miss Sarah C. Satchell taught the first school in Butler county, in 
the summer of i860. Miss Maggie Vaught (Mrs. H. O. Chittenden) 
taught the next two years. Oliver C. Link taught a term. In sixty-two 
I enlisted in the Union army, expecting to help fight General Price in 
Missouri, but instead was sent to the plains to watch forts and Indians. 
I shall never forget one beautiful Sunday morning in April, sixty-five, 
when I saw a horseman flying down the road toward the present Chelsea, 
waving a newspaper over his head. It was Henry Donald, and he was 
shouting, "Richmond is took ! Richmond is took !" We could readily 
forgive his bad grammar for his news was very good, and we rejoiced. 

John Houser came in sixty-nine and seventy and set up his black- 
smith shop on a lot in front of (west of) the store there now. His shop 
had neither foundation, sides nor roof — the whole business was out of 
doors. He had few tools, but he made good use of them. He was suc- 
cessful and now owns a good farm and is one of the esteemed citizens 
of the community where he has resided for years. (He now^ lives in El 
Dorado.) Mr. and Mrs. Joel Benson (both deceased) and their sons, 
William and Fred (deceased) came in the latter part of seventy and lo- 
cated on what was then known as the Mc Quarter land. They lived there 
until 1900, when Joel and William Benson moved to El Dorado, where 
AVilliam was engaged in banking business. Fred Benson left the farm 
three years later to become register of deeds of this county. In seventy- 
seven, J. S. McWhorter, Henry Bell and J. K. Skinner put in a saw mill 
and shingle machine at Chelsea. A Mr. Watson opened a store. Dr. 
Sparks stuck out his professional shingle. J. B. Shougli, now of Pros- 
pect, built a hotel, which still stands as the Chelsea store. J. B. Parsons, 
J. C. Rayburn, J. M. Rayburn, Dr. Zimmerman and some others built 
dwellings and business houses. The next year, sixty-nine, O. E. Sadler 
and J. C. Becker built the first good dwelling in Chelsea and put a stock 
of goods in it. 

A big frame school house was erected, the first in the county- and 
the first bell ever in the county was hung in the belfry and is there yet. 
Mrs. J. E. Buchanan, Mrs. George Ellis and Miss Alma Henderson (now 
Mrs. Neil Wilkie, of Douglass) were the teachers in those early days. 

In looking back nearly thirty-eight years I recall many sad and sor- 
rowful scenes and many ludicrous events. The remembrance of friends 
who, like myself, were then young, now old and gray; the recollection of 
many who have gone to the "undiscovered coimtry" is a solemn retro- 
spect. Among the true-hearted friends of that time who have passed 
away are Mrs. Garrett, Archibald Ellis and his wife, George T. Donald- 
son and wife (my sister), J. C. Lambdin and his son Joshua, Henderson 


Thomas and wife, P. P. Johnson and wife, ch-o\\ned on West Uranch in 
the flood of sixty-nine; Mrs. I^izzie Goodall. 'I\ \V. Satchell, J. M. Ray- 
bnrn, Air. and Mrs. C. A. Taylor, and Matthew Cowley and the other 
boys in blue who gave their lives a sacrifice for the country. Peace l)e 
to their ashes. 


By. C. M. Price. 

On April 7, 1879. a petition signed by Joseph P>lancett and fifty-four 
others, was presented to the board of county commissioners asking that 
a township be created out of the territory comprising Congressional 
township 29, range 6, east, to be called Clay. The petition was granted 
and an election was ordered held at the Alorehead school house on the 
third day of June, 1879. The following township officers were elected: P>. 
M. Winters, trustee; M. O. Dillon, treasurer; Joe Blancett, clerk; S. J. 
Ensley and John T. Bailey, justices of the peace; John McOuain and J. 
McGaffey, constables. 

Among the earliest settlers in the township were George Messick, 
S. J. Ensley, John Yalkman, M. O. Dillon, W. LI. Ellet. John AlcOuain. 
K. Bell and Fred Fenkennel, all now deceased. Others have moved 
aw^ay. The only ones now^ residing in the township on their original 
claims are N. F. Frakes and the writer, C. M. Price. 

All the land in this township is located in what is known as the 
"twenty-mile strip" and was subject to settlement under the pre-emption 
laws of the United States, the settlers paying $1.25 per acre. All kinds 
of crops, including natural and tame grasses, are grown. The town- 
ship is well watered and adapted to live stock. Many cattle, horses and 
mules are handled for the markets. 


By Col. Bill Avery. 

I first landed in Kansas in March, i860, and settled in Breckenridge, now 
Lyon county, wdiere I stayed until December of that year, when I re- 
turned to Hillsdale county, Michigan, my place of birth ; in August, 
1862, I enlisted in Company D, Eighteenth Michigan infantry. I re- 
turned from the army in July, 1865, and in October of that year, I re- 
turned to Kansas and settled on the old Santa Fe trail twenty miles east 
of Council Grove at 142 creek. WTien I lost all I had, with stock dying 
of Texas fever; in April, 1868, I came to Butler county and settled in 
what is now Clifford township. It was then Towanda township, from 
northwest corner of Butler county to four miles south of Towanda, and 
twelve miles wide. 


When I landed in what is now CHfford township, I unloaded my 
goods in the brush on what was afterward named Avery creek, in com- 
pany with my wife and one son, U. S. Avery, 3^ years of age. There 
were in the territory the following settlers : T. L. Ferrier, his father and 
family; Walter Gilman, H. H. AVilcox and a man by the name of Cams. 
In June of this 3'ear, we had the Indian scare, when everybody left their 
homes and all returned but Cams. In the fall of 1868, I. V. and William 
Davis came and located about three miles northwest of our claim. Wil- 
liam Davis is still living there. Of all the settlers who w^ere there when 
I came none are now living. 

In the spring election of 1869, I was elected trustee of Towanda 
township and I assessed the following persons, commencing on the north- 
west corner of Towanda township : H. H. A\'ilcox, Walter Gilman, T. L. 

Ferrier, Cams, H, Comstock, John Wentworth, Joseph Adams, 

Jake Green, Amos Adams, John Adams, Anthony Davis, a Mr. Kelly, 
on west branch of Whitewater ; Mr. Green, Dan Cupp and Sam Fulton, 
and I stayed all night with two Ralston boys and Lew Hart four miles 
south of Towanda. The Goodales were on their claims, having just 
arrived, and were not subject to taxation that year. I presume I have 
forgotten some names. These are all I can remember now. 

On November 15, 1868, H. H. Wilcox, his son and Mr. Dean and I 
went on a buffalo hunt, and on the eighteenth we. were caught in a 
snow storm which lasted forty-eight hours, and covered the ground to 
a depth of ten inches, and we camped on the Ninachee river with one 
dead cottonwood tree for fuel. We succeeded in getting a supply of 
meat, and finally reached home after our friends had about given up 
hope for our return. 

The first school in Clifford township was taught in a log cabin on 
the claim of Martin Ashenfelter on section 34, in the summer of 1871, 
and the teacher was Nettie Maynard, the term being three months. Her 
compensation was $12 per month and ''board around" and, of course, 
being a sensible girl, she boarded with the best cook most of the time, 
and all old settlers know who that was. A baby girl was born to us in 
March, 1871, and died in 1886, aged 16 years. 

The first Sunday school was a union school organized at the same 
place in the .same year. Morton Eddy was superintendent and Mrs. 
Avery was clerk, and she secured the first Sunday school papers through 
an uncle, Randall Farrote, a Christian minister at Newville, Ind. 

There was a rush of new settlers during 1870, 1871, 1872 and 1873, 
and in 1873 we cut loose from Towanda and organized the township of 
Clifford out of township 2'i,, range 4. W. H. Avery circulated the petition 
for said organization and selected the name of a friend, John A. Clifford, 
the father of Sam Clifford, of El Dorado, and presented the petition to 
the proper authorities.' 

The first township election was held in the house of John A. Clifford 
on April i, 1873. At the election the following were elected: E. Y. 


Ketchem, trustee; J. A. Clifford, treasurer; Z. M. Ketchem, clerk; J.. J. 
Long and W. C. Derby, justices of the peace; William Bain and W. G. 
Hess, constables. 

The year 1874 was and will be long known as "grasshopper year." 
The clouds of hoppers came like a snow storm and the sun was blotted 
out. Our little garden was north of the house, and we were at the west 
door of our little cabin watching the hoppers come and wondering what 
they would do, when my wife said : "They are getting my onions." I 
wondered how she knew and she said : "One of them hit me on the nose 
and I smelled his breath." Sure enough, she was right, and we found 
holes in the ground where the onions had been and that was all. The 
only thing they left was the prairie grass, and we put up lots of hay and 
the good people in the East sent us food and clothing. 

The first school district was No. 21. organized in 1871, and the first 
stone school house in Butler county was built by Avery & Jackson in 
district 21, on the southeast corner of the southwest quarter of 14-23-4. 
This was in 1871 and 1872. 

We at that time tried to farm and raise the same things we were 
used to in the east. Had we known of the merits of alfalfa, kaffir and 
the sorghums, life would have been much more satisfactory to the homes. 


By Elva Commons Nonkin, of Shady Land Farm — It is not my pur- 
pose in this short sketch to attempt a chronological history of Clifford 
and her people, but to try and trace some of the reasons for Clifford and 
her people appearing so seldom on the criminal docket of Butler county 
and so rarely on the list of the county commissioners' proceedings which 
relate to aid given to paupers. 

The educational development of the community lay very close to 
the heart of the early settlers and Blue Mound was early recognized as 
one of the foremost districts in the county, having the reputation of 
turning out more teachers than any other district in the county. This 
.was made possible largely by the efforts of the Averys, Ashenfelters, 
Austins, Lobdells, Hopkins and Harper families. District 47, Brown, 
was also noted for the length of its terms and the high class of teachers 
hired. The leading spirits in this were the Baxters, Commons, Smiths, 
Waggys. Johnsons, Crows, Goddings and Tuttle families, while the Ley- 
digs, Superhaughs, McCroskeys, Jennings, Huletts, Shrivers and Lig- 
gets kept up a high standard in district 71, the third organized in the 

Among those who developed the live stock industry most extensively 
during the early days were J. A. Clifford, H. H. Wilcox, Robert Hopkins 
and C. F. Bruner. Later their places in this industry were taken by H. 
Lathrop & Sons, the Liggett families, T. A. Enright, J. A. Day, H. S. 
Lincoln, the Gefeller Bros., V. H. Smith and L. P. Nonkin. 



Perhaps no person has made a more permanent impression on the 
community than has Mrs. A. M. McCroskey. She lived for many years 
on the farm now occupied b}^ Mrs. H. G. Lig-gett, but finally moved to 
Lawrence, where her son Ward and daughter Orrell graduated from 
the State university. From there she went to San Francisco, where she 
makes a home for her son Cyrus and daughter Anna, who are in busi- 
ness there, and although she is now past seventy, she is in the thick of 
municipal politics, on the side of woman suffrage and prohibition. While 
here her husband died, and she took charge of the farm, doing nearly all 
kinds of farm work. She was a member of the school board, a Sunday 
school superintendent, taught a few terms of school, took active part in 
organizing many social gatherings, helped young teachers secure schools 
and was a general neighborhood arbiter, but never during this time 
neglecting her family or failing to keep up her general reading. An- 
other woman who lived in the township only four years, but made a 
lasting impression on the lives of the young with whom she came in 
contact, was Mrs. Maria G. Spear. With her husband, they settled on 
the farm now the home of L. P. Xonkin. Having no children and being 
of a social disposition and very fond of the young, she soon became 
identified with the best things in the community life, having had better 
opportunity in her early life than most of her neighbors and also of a 
high moral character, her influence for good cannot be over-estimated. 
J. M. Linn, who lived in the Blue Mound district about fifteen years, 
developed the musical talent of his neighborhood. In winter he some- 
times had six different singing schools, teaching every night in the 
week, and on Sunday he led the music at the Sabbath school and church. 
Although a modest, retiring man, yet he soon became the leader in the 
chu.rch activities, was an excellent i)ublic school teacher and a social 
leader in his communit}'. His death in 1898, at the age of 48, was 
mourned sincerel}' by those whose lives he had touched. 

Another who was a leading personality in the seventies and eighties 
was Mrs. S. D. Drake. Of a commanding presence, and with the voice 
of a prima donna, she always willingly sang and trained others to sing 
for church and social gatherings, and when she removed to her former 
home in Boston we felt that we would never have good singing in Clif- 
ford again. 

Dr. L V. Davis was an important factor in every enterprise for the 
upbuilding of the community, and in his capacity as physician he came 
very close to the hearts of the people. In 1870, John Boersma, a Hol- 
lander, with his family, homesteaded the farm now occupied by his son- 
in-law, Samuel Merwin. Although in the direst poverty for several 
years, they kept up courage, practiced extreme self-denial and all worked 
untiringly. They lived in a one-roomed sod house for many years. It 
was always kept scrupulously clean and orderly and no one entered it 
but was impressed by the innate worth of its occupants. It was a long 
time before he could buy a team, but with his spade and hoe he worked 


wonders, and in later years, after he had prospered and had built a good 
house and barn, the farm, with its beautiful well-trimmed hedges and 
trees and orderly premises was the" "show place" of the neighborhood. 
Of later years, the farm home of Adam Fawley deserves this title. The 
handsome, commodious, well-painted buildings and the beautiful lawn 
and well-cared for lots, fields and fences, set an example for the neigh- 
borhood. C. C. Page was for many years a potent factor in local politics, 
church and educational activities. His death occurred in the autumn of 
191 5, at his home in Peabody, Kan., where he had resided since leaving 
Clifford township. No history of Clifford township would be complete 
without the mention of Mrs. Hattie E. Meeks, a scholarly woman of high 
ideals, who, having no close famih' ties, gave her whole time and talent 
to the pupils entrusted to her care. Her work for many years in the 
Blue Mound and Brown schools could hardly be excelled. 

A\'hile these to whom I have referred have seemed to be natural 
leaders, yet there have been many other noble men and women in Clif- 
ford township to whom we of a later generation owe a debt of thanks for 
the examples they have set for us and for the hardships they have en- 
dured that we, their children, might have the advantages they had been 


By J. M. Satterthwaite. 

Probably the first settlers to claim land in the township were the 
Dunn brothers, Birney and Samuel, the latter part of the year 1867. 
(Samuel was killed by Indians- May 17, 1869.) Their claims were upon 
the Walnut river at the south side of the township, and at the southern 
border of the land the Osage Indians were then ceding to the govern- 
ment for settlement. About the same time, a man named Hugh AVilliams 
opened a frontier trading post in a cabin near a ford of the Walnut, a 
little north of the claims of the Dunn boys. Just what lines he carried 
is not known at this date, but his stock must have been the frontier 
staples : Flour, bacon, gun powder, tobacco and whiskey. 

In February, 1868, John W. Graves took a claim on ''the island," 
nearly a mile north of the present city of Douglass. He still owns the 
original claim and long since added to it a hundred or two acres of the 
best land in the Walnut valley. The same year D. W. Boutwell, John 
Stanley, John Long and Samuel Shaff took claims along the Walnut 
river. G. D. Prindle, George Fox, John T. Martin, Neal Wilkie, William 
Hilton, Ed Wilford, T. I. Kirkpatrick, Capt. Joseph Douglass and others 
came and made settlement. Captain Douglass took the claim, the north- 
east quarter of section 20, township 29, range 4, east, upon which he 
founded the city of Douglass, to which he gave his name, and after which 
the township was named. 

Captain Douglass built the first house upon the townsite. It was 



constructed of hewn logs and stood near the present business center of 
the city. 

In very earl}^ days, Joshua Ohiistead and family located on a claim a 
mile and a half below the present city and started a saw mill. He then 
put a dam across the Walnut river and built a grist mill. John W. Dunn, 
a brother of Birney and Samuel, bought the mill and for many years it 
was successfully operated, farmers coming many miles with the grain 
to be ground. 

In the earlier organization of the county the territory now com- 
prising the township of Douglass was a part of A\'alnut township, which 
then comprised the south sixteen miles, clear across the county from east 
to west, 

January 6, 1873, the county commissioners organized a municipal 
township, six miles by twelve miles in extent, comprising township 29, 


range 3, and township 29, range 4. The first officers elected were : J. R. 
Gardner, trustee; John T. Martin, treasurer; C. B. Scott, clerk; S. A. 
Goodspeed and J. W. Alger, justices of the peace; F. S. Fleck and 
Thomas Long, constables. Not long afterward township 29, range 4, 
was taken from Douglass and Richland township organized. 

The town of Douglass was organized as a city of the third class in 
1879. The first mayor was C. B. Lowe; E. D. Stratford, city clerk, and 
F. W. Rash, city attorney. 

In the years 1868, 1869 and early 1870 mail was brought from El 
Dorado by private subscription, John Long making weekly trips to that 
point, bringing to the settlers such mail as might come to them. In 


1870 a regular stage line from Emporia was instituted and a postoffice 
established. C. H. Lamb was the first postmaster. He was succeeded 
by C. Calhoun, he by his partner, Dave Young, and he bv Rev. J. B. Ives. 

The first paper published at Douglass was The Douglass "Enter- 
prise," founded by D. O. McCray in 1879. After a year he moved the 
paper to Burden. Then The Douglass "Index" was started in 1880 by 
J. B. Ives, with his nephew, a Mr. Cole, as editor. 

Mr. Ives, with the help of several editors, continued the publication 
until the winter of 1883. when he sold it to J. M. Satterthwaite, who 
founded The Douglass "Tribune" in its stead and continues its publica- 
tion until this date. 

The first school taught in the township was a subscription school 
taught by Miss Agnes Stine, who soon became Mrs. George Fox, and 
still lives upon the Fox homestead two and a half miles north of the city. 
Mr. Fox died several years ago. Her early successors in educational 
work were S. L. Shotwell, afterward county superintendent and the 
organizer of much of the educational work in the county, and Mrs. Alma 
Wilkie, then Miss Henderson. Then Prof. J. W. Shively took up the 
work. For years he was the leading educator of the county. 

In the year 1881 a branch ofthe Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
railroad was extended from El Dorado to Douglass, which was the ter- 
minus of the road for about six years before the line was extended to 

Up to the year 1870 the Texas cattle trail crossed the Walnut river 
a mile north of the present city of Douglass. This Texas cattle trail 
was a great thoroughfare, over which vast herds were driven from 
the ranges in Texas, through the Indian Territory, to shipping points 
in Kansas. With the herds and along this trail reckless, venturesome 
men traveled, many of them too dishonest and reckless for the regions 
of settled society. Their doings in those wild days, just after the close 
of the Civil war and border troubles, in which men were educated to 
reckless deeds of violence, have furnished instances for many a true, 
tragic and thrilling story of frontier life. This trail, passing through 
the Indian reservations, first touched the country open to white settle- 
ment, and presumabl}^ under civil law, at the point where it struck the 
territory now in Douglass township. Naturally Douglass was the ren- 
dezvous of many wild and reckless characters. Horse thieve^ and cattle 
rustlers came and went, and some took claims and made their stations 
near here. 

On the afternoon of May 17, 1869, Samuel Dunn and a boy com- 
panion named Henderson were slain by a band of Osage Indians. The 
killing occurred on the prairie near the timber that skirted the Walnut 
river. Dunn and Henderson had been hunting and looking over the 
land. Henderson's folks were looking for a desirable claim on which 
to settle. Returning from their wandering, they stopped to rest upon 
a log that had been washed up on the prairie bottom on the west side 


of the ^^'alnut and east side of Eig"ht-]\Iile creek. As they were seated 
upon the log a band of Osages came riding up from the southwest, dash- 
ing down upon them. Dunn and Henderson ran for the timber, but were 
overtaken by the Indians and both killed and scalped. The savages not 
only scalped Dunn, but they cut off his head and three of his fingers. It 
is said that some of the Osages had a grudge against Birney Dunn, 
Samuel's brother, and when they made the attack supposed they were 
killing Birney. 

The government called the Osages to account for the murder and 
two members of the tribe were turned over to the civil authorities for 
trial. The sheriff of Butler county, James Thomas, of El Dorado, had 
the Indians in charge and was bringing them to El Dorado from some 
point at the northeast. Coming up the south fork of the Cottonwood 
river, the two prisoners disappeared. Some assert that they made their 
escape. Others claim they w^ere shot and buried. At any rate they 
never appeared for trial. 

The horse thieves that infested the Texas cattle trail were a source 
of greatest annoyance and loss to the early settlers in the region around 
Douglass. Settlers among strangers, a long way from old home and 
former friends, driving teams to wagons in which were loaded their 
scant household effects and earthly belongings, would suddenly find 
themselves without horses, the animals having been ridden or driven 
off in the night, and in some instances boldly taken in the day time. 
Afoot and amid strangers, in a vast, unfamiliar region, was a woeful con- 
dition to be in. Few of the settlers had the cash wherewith to replace 
the teams so lost. The settlers became enraged and determined upon 
drastic measures to rid the countr}^ of suspected characters. A vigilance 
committee was organized. On the night following election day, in No- 
vember, 1870. a force went to the cabin of George and Lewis Booth up 
the ^^'alnut river, a little more than a mile north of the north line of the 
township. (The land is now owned by Lonnie Morrison.) George and 
Lewis Booth were shot and a man named Corbin hanged. The party, 
returning to Douglass, met a desperate character from Texas, named Jim 
Smith, at the crossing of Little Walnut on the old stage trail. He was 
an associate and companion of the Booths and Corbin, and was headed 
for the Booth cabin. He gave battle and his mount was shot from under 
him. He gpt behind a stump and stood off the vigilantes for a time. 
It is said he hit one or more of them, but it was never generally known 
who, for the vigilantes protected their doings wnth pledged secrecy. But 
Smith was soon surrounded and shot. When the Emporia-Arkansas 
City stage crossed the creek some little time after^vard the driver found 
Jim Smith's dead body on the trail. 

But the end Avas not yet. These four men who had been executed 
as horse thieves had friends. Whether these friends were associated 
with them in horse stealing and dividing the funds received for stolen 
horses is disputed. But these friends started criminal proceedings against 


men charg-ed with having taken part in the kiUing and some were ar- 
rested. Feeling ran high and revenge was threatened. For the purpose 
of intimidating their opposers, the vigilance committee took action again, 
and on the night of December i four citizens of Douglass, William 
Quimby, a merchant; Dr. Morris, his son, and Mike Dray, a clerk in 
Morris' drug store, were taken to the timber a mile and a half below 
Douglass and hanged. At this act a number of suspicious characters 
left the neighborhood and horse stealing abated. It was a desperate 
remedy for a bad state of affairs and left a bad effect upon the com- 
munity. Some of the men executed may not have deserved their fate. 
They may have been only warm friends of the men who did. 

Joseph W. Douglass, the founder of the city, and after whom the 
city and township were named, was shot and mortally wounded on the 
townsite in 1873. He had taken a lively interest in the suppressing of 
thieving in the community, and on the night of his murder had arrested, 
without a warrant, a camper he suspected of stealing chickens. The 
man had chickens in his possession and did not give a plausible account 
of where or how he obtained them. Douglass marched his prisoner to 
several places where he had said he purchased the fowls, but the parties 
denied having sold them to him. The prisoner, evidently fearing the 
fate of others, shot his captor with a small pistol he had in his possession. 
Douo-lass was armed with a larger revolver, but had failed to disarm his 
prisoner. The man ran and Douglass fired at him several times, but 
failed to hit him. Douglass lived a day or two after being wounded and 
requested that no injury be inflicted upon the murderer. He was cap- 
tured, tried and sent to the penitentiary for ten years. 

One event that had great effect upon Douglass and community was 
the building of a great sugar mill for the manufacture of sugar from 
sorghum, in the year 1888. Investigators had set up the claim that 
sugar could be made at much profit from sorghum, and so heartily did 
the people of Douglass take up with the idea that they promoted a com- 
pany, built a great mill, and induced the farmers to plant a large acreage 
of sorghum. When the mill was put in operation at great expense it 
was found to be unprofitable. Those who had put their money into 
the scheme lost it all. The city had voted bonds for water works and 
turned the bonds over to the sugar mill company, under contract of build- 
ing the water works. The failure of this enterprise carried down with 
it the Wilkie bank. Mr. Wilkie had been a pioneer banker in both El 
Dorado and Douglass, having considerable wealth for those times. He 
had ventured it all to build up the city of Douglass and lost. 




The history of El Dorado township 
insofar as early settlements are con- 
cerned, is so nearly identical with the 
city of El Dorado that the two will be 
considered under one heading. May 
30, 1870, a petition signed by D. M. 
Bronson and fifty others asking that 
the town of El Dorado, as described in 
said petition, be incorporated under the 
name of El Dorado, was presented to 
the probate court of Butler county. 
The petition was granted, and J. C. 
Lambdin, A. D. Knowlton, T. B. Mur- 
dock, T. G. Boswell and C. M. Foulks 
iwere appointed trustees. The 140-acre 
: tract which comprised the original 
townsite was entered on March 23, 
1868, by B. Frank Gordy, 'and a plat of 
the townsite filed for record in the suc- 
ceeding month. Shortly after entering 
his claim, Gordy sold a fifth interest 
each to Henry Martin, Samuel Lang- 
don and Byron O. Carr, and with them formed the El Dorado Town Com- 
pany. Town lots were laid out and sold to all who would improve them, 
at the rate of $10 per lot. 

The location of the town near the crossing of the old California 
trail, on the Walnut, and its other natural advantages of position, did 
much to aid the new venture at this critical time, when it needed but a 
trifle to kill the embryo city. Houses of a very modest description 
sprang up rapidly, and the town began soon to present a semblance 




of substantiality. There had been some houses on the townsite prior 
to the entrance of the Gordy claim. As early as 1867 a log house was 
built in the east part of the town, and the same summer E. L. Lower 
put up a cabin where Mrs. White's residence stood. The latter of these 
buildings had passed away, but the former stood until 1885, just west 
of the present city building, on East Central avenue. It was burned in 
a fire which destroyed Skinner & Stinson's livery stable, July i, 1885. 
The third building on the townsite was a frame store, erected by Henry 
Martin, on the corner now occupied by the Haberlein clothing store. 
Just prior to the erection of this store, Elias Main put up a saw mill on 
the Walnut near the present lower bridge. 

The year 1868 brought many new industries to the town. In the 
spring D. M. Bronson opened a land office. Dr. Kellogg divided his 
time between this office and the practice of his profession. A wagon 
shop was put up by a Mr. Handley, a blacksmith shop by Mat. Strick- 
land, and a harness shop by Mr. Gearhart. Mrs. M. J. Long (Mrs. E. H. 
Clark) opened a millinery store, and some minor branches of business 
were carried on. This year was also signalized by the opening of the 
first regular saloon. The institution, after being for some time a sore 
spot in the community, was closed by the suit of Mrs. Thomas Tool, 
for damages to her husband and the ensuing litigation. To counteract 
the influence of the saloon element thus early arrayed against the pro- 
hibition forces, the temperance people organized a lodge of the "Sons and 
Daughters of Temperance." This order flourished for some time, but 
finally died out, and its records have been lost. The year closed upon 
the town in a flattering state of growth, and bidding fair to become a 
large central trading point. 

Thus far the reputation of El Dorado had spread little beyond its 
immediately associated towns in the northeast — the places wdiere it 
touched the line of the older settlement, and felt, though distantly, the 
pulsations of the world's great heart. With 1869 came the publication 
of a paper of its own, the "Emigrant's Guide," gotten up by Bronson 
and Sallee, who had entered extensively into real estate dealings, and 
printed by Jacob Stotler, of the Emporia "News." The "Guide" was what 
would be called a "rustler," and crowed for Butler county and El Dorado 
after a very lively fashion. This year saw the first social gathering of the 
people in the new settlement, and also the first disaster, the drowning 
of the Johnson family, during the June flood, in the West Branch, a 
short distance above town. With 1870 came a rush of settlers and a 
flood of events, Avhich deserve more specific description. With the rush 
of 1870 came the demand for more room within the town limits, and the 
special suave and ready response to the demand by real estate men. 
Lower's addition of eighty acres, north of Central avenue, was laid out 
this year, as were the blocks of land .belonging to Finley and Gordon 
on Main street, and that of Wilson on the west. These, together, made 
a little less than 320 acres. The following, letter from Capt. J. Cracklin, 


of Lawrence, one of the party who started the town, gives an account 
of the naming of El Dorado: Lawrence, Kan., December ii, 1882: 
Dear Sir — In reply to yours of the seventh instant, I would say the name 
El Dorado is two Spanish words and signifies "The Golden Land." The 
beautiful appearance of the country upon our arrival at the Walnut sug- 
gested the name, and I exclaimed, "El Dorado !" and when the townsite 
was selected the name was unanimously adopted. I proposed the name 
and Thomas Cordis seconded it. Yours truly, J. Cracklin. 

William Hilderbrand is supposed to have been the first settler near 
El Dorado, probably in 1854, having taken a claim near where the J- D. 
Connor farm now lies. In 1859 ^^is place, which had become a sort of 
headquarters for horse thieves, w^as raided, and Hilderbrand, after join- 
ing the order of the flagellents or anglice, and getting a sound thrashing 
at the hands of the vigilantes, was given twenty-four hours to effect his 
escape from the county, and disappeared forever from El Dorado's hor- 
izon. In 1859 occurred the first wedding in El Dorado, as well as in the 
countv. the parties united being Miss Augusta Stewart and a Mr. 
Graham. Shortly after the wedding the groom received serious injuries 
from the discharge of an overloaded gun and died. The first child born 
in El Dorado was Mattie, daughter of P. R. AVilson. The first death 
was that of Mrs. H. D. Kellogg. 

El Dorado postoffice, as originally located, stood a mile and a half 
south of the present town. The mails were, however, handled at the 
residence of Henry Martin, on the present townsite, and the postmaster, 
Daniel Stine, lived at Augusta. There w^as a little frame building at the 
site of El Dorado proper, but in 1867, when the county lines had been 
moved to their present soutliern limits, the building had been stripped 
and stood alone and untenanted. At this juncture, D. M. Bronson, who 
had been appointed county attorney, proposed to Connor, representative 
from the district, to refit the building and employ it as a county seat 
headquarters. After various conferences, in which Connor refused to do 
anything, Bronson left this part of the country and went to a point be- 
low Augusta. On his return the present El Dorado had been located and 
made the county seat. A postoffice had been opened across the Walnut, 
opposite the present city, for four or five years before old El Dorado 
was surveyed, and D. L. AlcCabe had been postmaster. Daniel Stine, 
of Augusta, was, as has already been stated, potmaster in the old town, 
though never performing the duties of that office. The postoffice of- 
ficials in the present city have been Henry Martin, H. D. Kellogg. Mrs. 
M. L Long, Frank Frazier, Alvah Shelden, T. P. Eulton, J. C. Rodgers, 
B. F. Meeks, A. J. Palmer, W. H. Ellet, Mary Alice Murdock. and the 
present one is T. P. Mannion. The office has been, since 1879, a Presi- 
dential one. 

The first hotel opened in the new town was a rough frame erected 
in 1869, ^"^ occupied by Thomas Brothers. This ver}- modest hostelry 
was later made the rear portion of the El Dorado House, of Samuel 



El Dorado has been fortunate in its exemption from disastrous fires, 
the only one of any great importance occurring in Deceml)er, 1880, and 
destroying the \\'alnut Valley elevator. This structure was built in 
1878, at a cost of $10,000, and had a capacity of 40,000 bushels. It was 
not only an elevator, but also a flouring mill. And the fire in 1900, 
which destroyed the Central school building. 

El Dorado had the usual uneventful and uncertain future of frontier 
towns. Its geographical location, and being the county seat, were its 
only boast. A $10,000 stone school hou^e was erected in 1875, which 
was destroyed by fire in February, 1900. While i\ grew steadily in 
population and number of buildings, it had not an air of permanency. 
Enterprising citizens, among the leading ones being T. B. Murdock, 
then editor of The Walnut Valley "Times," after much labor and 


persuasion, secured the building of the Florence, El Dorado & Walnut 
Valley railroad from Florence to El Dorado. This was the potent 
factor, the first railway in the county. It reached El Dorado in July, 
1877, and the town turned out en masse to welcome it. Immediately 
after its completion an excursion train was run to the town, a grand 
ball and banquet were participated in, and a new era of prosperity wel- 
comed with every evidence of joy. The future of the town seemed 
then assured. Real estate advanced rapidly. New roofs sprang up in 
all directions. The old and small business houses began to give way to 
larger and handsome brick and stone structures. A brick building 104 
feet long and two stories high was built by N. F. Frazier in 1878. But 
the town's tribulations were not over. In 1879 overtures were made to 
the citizens to aid a line of railway to be known as the St. Louis, Wichita 
cv Western railroad. It was to be a branch from the Atlantic 


& Pacific at Pierce City, Mo. For years the citizens, strangers crossing 
them, and surveyors and engineers declared that the flint hills- a range 
of semi-mountains bounding the county's eastern line, presented an im- 
passable barrier to railways in that direction, save at one particular 
"pass" in what is now Glencoe township. The railway officials pro- 
fessed to be anxious to come through this "pass" to El Dorado, al- 
though the line running in a northwest direction from Pierce City would 
have to trend southward to reach Wichita. Our people rejected the de- 
mands of this company, and shortly after propositions were submitted 
to townships, and carried, voting aid to this line, running nine miles 
south of El Dorado, through the rival town of Augusta and cutting off 
at least 60 per cent of the trade which had previously come to the tow^n 
to reach rail communication with the outer world. This was a de- 
pressing period. Many, believing that Augusta, by reason of the heavier 
population around her, and her "boom," inaugurated by the building of 
the new road, would be the county seat, moved away from El Dorado, 
building slackened and the town was at a standstill. Again our business 
men took hold, and in 1880 forced the F. E. & A^^ V. (the "Bobtail," as it 
was called)' from El Dorado, through Augusta to Douglass; which be- 
came the terminus, thirteen miles south of Augusta. Again the county 
seat was saved by cutting off the trade of Augusta from the region of 
Douglass and stopping her growth. But El Dorado languished. Being 
in the geographical center of the county, the county seat and having a 
railroad was not enough. Her growth became slow and unsubstantial 
through 1880, 1881 and 1882. During these three years an effort was 
being made by a local company at Fort Scott to build a road westward 
along the fifth parallel — an old dream of the first settlers in El Dorado, 
thought to be impossible of realization on account of the flint hills 
previously spoken of — but the company was poor and weak, and the 
work languished. It kept building and bonding, building and bonding, 
however, until in 1882 preliminary surveys were run through the hills 
by General Gleason, of St. Louis, an experienced engineer, who found 
a route of easy grade, but expensive to construct through the hills. 
Propositions were submitted and aid voted the road, under the belief, 
afterward verified, that the road would belong to the Missouri-Pacific 
system, and on January i, 1883- our second railway, known as the St. 
Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita, was completed to the borders of the town, 
amid the same scenes of rejoicing which had characterized the coming 
of the first one. From the date of the completion of this (competing) 
line the permanent growth and prosperity of El Dorado were assured. 
The town outstripped the most sanguine guessers of its progress. The 
building and putting in operation, on July i, 1885, of the Ellsworth. 
McPherson, Newton & Southeastern railway, largely secured through 
the activity and influence of Gen. A. AA\ Ellet. of El Dorado, gave the 
city its third railway, and accelerated and amplified the "boom" which 
characterized building operations after the coming of the "Sunflower" 



railroad, as the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita was called. This line 
passes through a very fine agricultural country, and is a very important 
feeder to the main line of the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita railroad. 

El Dorado was made a city of the second class in July 1885. It is 
noted for the numerous shade trees along its broad streets and about its 
houses. Everybody plants and cares for trees. Its houses are generally 
neat and substantial structures. It is remarked that an unusual and 
very large amount of paint is used in painting and decorating dwellings- 
outhouses, fences, etc. El Dorado is one of the neastest towns in the 

El Dorado has a beautiful, well-drained and healthful site. Its busi- 
ness buildings are substantial. It has many handsome residences and 
beautiful grounds. The streets are board and shaded. Its schools are 
such that any intelligent community would be proud of them. Its 
churches have large memberships, and their ministers are generously 


supported. The secret orders are in a flourishing condition. The Masons 
and Odd Fellows have large and handsome halls. The city has a square 
(but the town is not built about it), deeded to the public, artistically set 
out with trees, which are flourishing and yield much pleasure from its 
shady foliage. 

Finally, El Dorado's people arp a social, intelligent, reading, church 
and school-loving and saloon-hating people, with whom all order-loving 
folk will find the warmest and most generous friendship and ample and 
inviting accommodations and facilities for educating and rearing their 
sons and daughters and launching them into business. 

The first issue of The Walnut Valley "Times" was on March 4, 
1870. It was a seven-column folio, exactly the size of the present Daily 
Times. T. B. Murdock, afterward editor of The El Dorado "Republican," 


and T. S. Danford were "editors and proprietors," to quote from the edi- 
torial subhead. The paper was started by contributions of cash and 
El Dorado town lots. In a few weeks Danford retired from the paper 
and began a remarkable career as a banker — rather as a bank wrecker. 
The Bank of El Dorado- the Bank of Caldwell, Sumner county, and the 
Bank of Osage City, Osage county, all went under; all were simply 
robbed by Danford. How he escaped hanging at Caldwell at the hands 
of a mob was one of the remarkable episodes of early days. Murdock 
sold the Times to Alvah Sheldon in 1881. 

The "head" of The Walnut \'alley "Times" has never been changed 
since the first issue, save that some ten or fifteen years ago instead of 
small capitals the initial letters of the three words of the title were 
changed to capitals and small capitals for the remainder of the words. 

What would now be called an advertising rate card was. in 1870 
designated in the Times as a "price list," and the rates then were ap- 
proximately what they are yet in the weekly. The subscription price 
was $2 per year, subsequently reduced to $1.50 and in 1889 to $1, if paid 
in advance or during the year. Newspaper paper in 1870 was about seven 
cents a pound. The paper boasted in its first issue that it had a "circu- 
lation of 800 copies," by which the editors meant to say that they printed 
that many. They did not refer to the number of subscribers. 

Under the head of physicians and surgeons were H. D. Kellogg, J. C. 
McGowan and Dr. Edwin Cowles. Attorneys-at-law were D. M. Bron- 
son, Ruggles, Plumb & Campbell, E. B. Peyton & J. V. Saunders, H. C. 
Cross & W. T. McCarty and Almerin Gillett. How familiar are these 
names to the old pioneers. And Bronson and his wife were kindly, gen- 
erous and helpful. They slept on the floor of their small home one night 
that two orphan girls who had ridden in the four-horse stage from To- 
peka might enjoy a night's rest before continuing their journey on to 
Douglass. The}' were Lida and IMa}' Lamb, the one buried in Belle 
Vista, the other Mrs. Alvah Shelden. Bronson died many years ago ; 
Mrs. Bronson remarried and lives in Wisconsin. Tli^y reared a fine 
family. Mrs. E. C. Thompson is their daughter. R. M. Ruggles was an 
able lawyer. He died years ago. P. B. Plumb later served twelve years 
in the United States Senate and died in 1892. He was one of Kansas' 
distinguished patriots, soldiers and statesmen. Plumb and Ruggles 
were from Emporia. W. P. Campbell in after years served with honor 
as district judge. 

In 1870, El Dorado, having about 400 inhabitants, advertised one 
hotel, the El Dorado House, corner of Main street and Central avenue. 
The public is assured in the first "Times" that it "is receiving large ad- 
ditions and is being refitted and refurnished throughout." J. B. Shough, 
deceased, advertised the Chelsea House as having "ample accommoda- 
tions for the traveling public," and many of its guests rolled up in 
blankets and slept on the floor, anywhere they could find room. Meals 
were usually fifty cents. Mrs. Eliza White told the public she had a 


boarding" house "on Alain street," in El Dorado. Eli Corliss was a stone 
mason and plasterer; Crimble & DeLong were carpenters and builders; 
so were D. A. Rice & Company and Ward & Potts — W. G. Ward and 
Thomas M. Potts. Ilcnry Martin (settled on the old Teter farm, north- 
east of El Dorado, at an early day), was a "licensed conveyancer and* 
notary public;" S. P. Barnes — peace to his ashes — was the town's lumber 
dealer; Henry Rohr shod the town and roundabout, making" many pairs 
of boots at $8, $io and $12 per pair; in millinery and dressmaking, Mrs. 
M. J. Long (Mrs. E. H. Clark) and Miss M. E. Close "respectfully an- 
nounce to the ladies of El Dorado and vicinitx" that we expect to, within 
a fcAV weeks, open a new and complete stock of millinery, consisting in 
part of ribbonS' laces, flowers, feathers, silks, satins, velvets, etc. Bon- 
nets and hats made to order. Dressmaking" a specialty." Thomas R. 
Pittock was heralded as proprietor of a saw and grist mill "adjoining 
town on the southeast;" and "H. Martin & Company have permanently 
located their saw mill on the ^^'alnut adjoining town on the east, sawing 
over 6,000 feet of lumber per day." Sleeth Brothers announced their 
saw and grist mill running "on West Branch, at the north end of Main 
street;" and Burdett cK: \\'heeler advertised their new saw mill "in oj^era- 
tion on the L. B. Snow farm on the W^alnut, south of town." "We pub- 
lish herewith the first number of The Walnut Valley "Times." We 
have no apologies to make. Our paper speaks for itself. We make no 
promises, as we might not be able to fulfill them. To those who have 
aided us in establishing our paper here, we wish to return thanks. If 
you, after carefully examining the 'Times,' conclude that it is worthy 
of your support, make it known to us by sending us 'two dollars in ad- 
vance.' 'Our political faith' is described — It is scarcely worth wdiile for 
us to state that we are Republican in political faith, as politics is so little 
thought of or talked about in this country. We will not, however, sup- 
port Republican nominees when they are known to be dishonest or cor- 
rupt. W^e will not under any circumstances support men for office who 
have a reputation for dishonesty. We are in favor of the fifteenth 
amendment, the present administration and the payment of the govern- 
ment debt according to contract." 

A writer, under a nom de plume, under date of February 14, 1870, 
says : "On Monday three of us started for the lower country. We 
stopped at Augusta to take on a better supply of rations. Augusta is a 
lively little town, having two stores, a blacksmith shop, saw mill and 
hotel. Messrs. Baker & Manning have a good stock of goods and appear 
to be doing a good business. Our old friend, Dr. Thomas Stewart, is 
also selling goods there. The saw mill is doing a good business, but 
cannot supply the demand. Another mill is expected soon. AVe passed 
the new townsite of Walnut City, on a gradual slope of the upland, 
sloping toward the junction of the Little and the main Walnut. One or 
two buildings have been constructed and we noticed about 100 logs 
piled up waiting for the mill from the Neosho. We came to the flourish- 


ing town of Douglass, near the southern line of Butler county. There 
are three good stores, good hotel, etc. Chester Lamb is proprietor of 
the hotel. Douglass has one of the finest locations of any town in the 
State. Douglass and Walnut City will, in all probability, be rival towns, 
as they are only two or three miles apart. Below Douglass the valleys 
grow in breadth and beauty and numerous squatter cabins are visible 
along the valley from Douglass to the mouth of the Walnut. About 
eighteen miles below Douglass we came to Winfield, at the mouth of 
Lagonda creek, formerly called Dutch creek. We counted several new 
houses. Just below the town we crossed to the west side of the Walnut 
at what is known as Kickapoo corral. We ascended to the divide through 
a defile with large rocks on either side, and from there south ten miles 
to Delphi (later Arkansas City). This is the most beautiful stretch of 
land I have seen in Kansas. The Arkansas river, about six miles west 
of the road, is visible all the way down to the mouth of the Walnut. 
About the middle of the afternoon of the second day we reached Delphi, 
which is a new site laid out for a future town. It is a smooth, swelling 
ridge, sloping off toward the Walnut on the east and toward the 
Arkansas on the south and west. The Arkansas is about the size of the 
Kaw at Lawrence. Fish are very abundant. We formed a fishing ex- 
cursion on the evening of the first day after our arrival. The evening 
was delightful, warm and clear. The moon being full made it as light as 
day. During the short time we were fishing we secured some nice ones, 
upon which we feasted. Prior to our arrival Captain Norton caught a 
catfish weighing seventy pounds, and a short time before one that 
weighed sixty. The second day, while surveying claims, getting dry, 
we stopped to take a drink — not of the oh-be-joyful — but out of the pure 
and sparkling waters of the Walnut, and while so doing our horses ran 
off, leaving the wagon a wreck and scattered through the woods. After 
running a couple of miles the horses were caught by a friend, and re- 
turning to camp we went to work and before night we had everything 
mended up and ready to start home the next day. On returning to El 
Dorado, absent only four days, we noticed three new buildings that 
have sprung up during our short absence, which shows that the people 
of El Dorado mean business." 

Someone, writing from the Little AValnut river country, near where 
Leon was started in 1879, says that every claim (homestead) is taken 
from the stream's head in the Flint Hills to its junction with the main 
Walnut, near Douglass. Taking a claim meant settlement upon it, and 
at times four poles laid in a square testified to someone's settlement 
until he (or she) could erect a cabin. The writer praises this section and 
declares that "stock can be grown to the age of four years at an average 
price of $2 ; thus giving the owner a clear profit of at least $25 per head. 
Companies from Michigan have already been formed and have taken 
claims on the head of the North Branch of Little Walnut for the pur- 
pose of entering extensively into the dairy business." This was only a 


dream — there were so many dreams, visions, illusions in those days. 
Nearly all the settlers were poor. They did not understand the countr)^, 
the soil and climate. Many had never owned land before and the pros- 
pect was so flattering- that air castles were readily constructed. W. R. 
Lambdin — he died in Denver several years ago — "has a claim at the 
junction of the north and south branches of the stream. He has been 
here about two and a half years. He has eighty-six domestic cattle, nine 
horses, four hogs, a mowing machine, sulky rake, plows, etc., etc. He 
raised in 1869 300 bushels of potatoes and an abundance of other vege- 
tables. His 160-acre claim has seventy acres* of timber. He has re- 
fused $3,500 for his claim and stock. The next claim, on the north 
branch, is J. T. Lambdin's, seventy-five acres of timber, balance mostly 
good \alle}' land. He has a log house of one room, which serves as 
parlor, bedroom, dining- room, kitchen and nursery. He 'baches' and is 
making rails and will improve his claim as rapidly as possible. He 
values his claim at $900." This was J. T. or Josh Lambdin, who died 
here many years ago. It will be seen that the Lambdin brathers were 
considered quite wealthy. Think of 160 acres of the best bottom land 
and eighty-six head of cattle worth only $3,500 "Amos Richardson," 
the writer continues, "has a claim, a family, a frame house and three 
acres broke ; made several hundred rails this winter and smokes his pipe 
in leisure hours. He is a number one man and ought to be a J. P. He 
would be insulted if one should offer him less than $1,200 for his claim. 
His brother occupies the next ranch, has a frame hotise, three acres 
broke (this means the sod turned over with a 'breaking' plow) and that 
he is a son of a thief if he can be euchred out of his claim for less than 
$600. He is recommended for P. M. at Quito and will soon open an 
extensive stock of dry goods and groceries in that city. By the way, 
fearing people may not find the city, it is located on the N. E. % of the 
S. E. ^ of section 1 1-27-6. The next claim belongs to a Mr. Hart, for- 
merly of Ohio, and was settled upon in August, 1869. He has built a 
one-an-one-half-story house, hewed logs and made no other improve- 
ments. Mr. Hart has a No. i claim- with forty acres of timber and 100 
acres of the best bottom land. He offers his claim now for $500, and it 
is the cheapest on the Little Walnut." It will be noted how frequently 
timber is referred as a valua,ble feature of land. The marvelous building 
of railways and distribution of lumber could not then be foreseen and 
timber was considered to be precious. With the coming of railways 
twelve years after this time, timber land lost much of its value, save 
for fuel and cattle shelter. "George Miller," says the chronicler, "owns 
a claim wnth a log house, stables, etc. His claim cost him a horse, and 
he would be badly scared if offered $600 for it. Mr. Miller's daughter 
has taken an adjoining claim, 160 — no improvements. This is an example 
for other young ladies, and darn the man who dares to jump that claim. 
B. R. Boarce has a claim with hewed log house; he can take $400 for it 
any time." Plis record goes to show the small and humble beginnings 

(9) . 


of the pioneers, many of whom became homesick, were disheartened by 
drouth that would now be unnoticed because of better farming and 
better understanding" of the time of planting-, of crops to plant and their 

The editors of the "Times" left a record of incipient El Dorado, not 
full and complete, but giving- a fair idea of its small beginnings : "Our 
town is beautifully located on a rolling" prairie in the Walnut valley, and 
about the center of Butler county. Main, the principal business street, 
runs parallel with the Walnut river and is level enough to be called a 
table land, yet with sufficient slope to drain the surface water. By the 
original survey, the townsite contained but 140 acres, lacking twenty 
acres in the southeast corner to make it a square quarter section. But 
the enterprise of our citizens, encouraged and stimulated by an unprece- 
dented flow of immigration developing the resources of our county, soon 
demanded an enlargement of our borders. E. L. Lower, one of our first 
settlers, and Judge J. C. Lambdin, who are ever exercising a disposition 
to advance the interests of the town ^nd community, concluded to make 
a personal sacrifice for the public good and prepared for the market 
Lower's addition, comprising eighty acres lying" adjacent to the original 
townsite, which being rapidly covered with all kinds of business and 
dwelling" houses. Twenty-two business lots on Main street and a large 
number of residence lots have been duly surveyed, the plot recorded as 
Finley's addition, and lots are now on the market at reasonable prices. 
While these lots are recorded as an addition, they properly belonged to 
and should have been surveyed as part of the original townsite; they 
are a portion of the twenty acres required to make the site square. All 
owners of property in El Dorado will be pleased to learn that Main 
street has been continued southward parallel with the streets on the 
west, not only bettering" so essentially the shape of the town, but bring- 
ing into market some of the most choice business locations on Main 
street. Much gratitude is due Mr. Finley's liberality in removing the 
blockade to allow a large share of our improvement and business to take 
its natural course southward and we hope our citizens will not hesitate 
in using the means to the end intended. We are just informed that our 
fellow townsman, Dr. J. P. Gordon, has laid out a row of lots south of 
Finley's addition, continuing Main street the full extent of those on the 
west, thus perfecting" the shape of that corner of the townsite. Let us 
all appreciate the doctor's public spiritedness. Comes last in order, but 
greatest in point of importance, Wilson's addition. It is eminently more 
essential to have a location of health and beauty, with salubrious air and 
water and fertile soil on which to build your residence, grow your or- 
chard and make your home, than to own a whole bulk of business lots 
on Main street. Wilson's addition offers all these attractions and in- 
ducements. It joins the old townsite on the west and contains eighty- 
six acres of good undulating prairie, affording natural building sites and 
is especially adapted to parks, gardens and vineyards. Prof. T. R. 



Wilson has for this purpose very generously disposed of this land to the 
following- company : Drs. H. D. Kellogg, A. White, J. S. Danford, J. K. 
Finley and Mr. (A. D?) Knowlton, who have had it surveyed into blocks 
of two acres each, sub-divided into lots of one-fourth acre, and now 
offer it in lots of any size to suit customers, and at prices so reasonable 
that the poorest man may buy a home, while the rich and noble will have 
all the aid of nature to enrich, magnify and display their improvements. 
Were they to traverse famous Italy they could not find a building site 
more surpassing in l:)eauty, loveliness and healthfulness than now offered 
in ^Mlson■s addition. With all this array of additions the townsite 
of El Dorado contains less than 320 acres — not quite one-half section of 


land, not yet half as large as the original townsite of Emporia, and needs 
forty acres to make a square corner on the northwest ; there is room for 
another addition, and we Avill look to our chief clerk in the State senate 
for a slice off his homestead when he returns." 

Under the head of business men of El Dorado, the first "Times" 
says: "Henry Martin came to the Walnut valley in 1857, before there 
was a house in Butler county. His means of transportation was a yoke 
of oxen to a wagon, his entire stock in trade, his home being wherever 
he said so. Mr. Martin could then see in the resources of this country 
its immense riches, and, being a plucky Englishman of 28 years, began 
work for his share. He built the first store in El Dorado, which he now 
occupies, with everything in the line of general merchandise. It is 


22x46 feet, two stories, with a good cellar ; three rooms on the second 
floor and well finished throughout." (This building stood on what is 
now the site of A. G. Haberlein's clothing house — known as the Sunder- 
land block, and built by N. F. Frazier in 1878. ]\Ir. Martin lost his life 
by having his limbs severely frozen while on a buffalo hunt in 1870 near 
Medicine Lodge). "Mr. Martin," says the "Times." "has. of course, 
seen some hard times, and while he has paid strict attention to business 
and accumulated his own fortune he has never forgotten or neglected 
the interests of the citizens of Butler county; has served one year as pro- 
bate judge, as justice of the peace five years, and county treasurer four 
years, to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. He now owns within 
two miles of town 200 acres of all first-class bottom land in a high state 
of cultivation; a good saw mill in town, and one-fifth of the original 
townsite of El Dorado. We mention these things to show what the 
Walnut valley can do for a poor man in a short time if he is possessed of 
the energy, endurance and integrity that has made Henry Martin the 
man he really is. 

"Judge J. C. Lambdin also came to Butler county in 1857, ^^^ ^^ 
the fall of 1859 was elected to the Territorial council, where he served 
with much honor for two years. The judge and his two sons entered 
the war in 1862 and valiantly served in the cause of the Union to its 
close, when they located in Emporia, Lyon county. Knowing by experi- 
ence the advantages of the Walnut over the Neosho valley and b}^ the 
earnest request of their old neighbors they all returned to El Dorado and 
in April, 1869, the}' built the large two-story frame house on the north- 
west corner of Main street and Central avenue (the site of the old Boston 
store — later Haines Brothers' store, now Hough's cash store) where they 
are extensive!}'- engaged in general merchandising in the firm name of J. 
C. Lambdin & Sons. Their store is 22x40 feet with four rooms upstairs 
and contains a stock of about $6,000. Their goods are purchased at the 
fountain of eastern markets and in quantities so large that they can not 
be undersold. Since the judge's return he has done much for the inter- 
ests of El Dorado; his influence being always extended in the cause of 
churches, schools and the cause of temperance, and should ever be re- 
membered by the good people of Butler county. 

"Xext came Messrs. Betts and Frazier from the city of Leavenworth 
and opened a first-class grocery, provision store in their (frame) build- 
ing 26x38 feet on Central avenue. Their business has increased so rapid- 
ly that they are preparing to build a large store building on Main street. 
These gentlemen have a full stock of goods and are quite gentlemanly 
and accommodating in their dealings. 

"On lot one, block one. on Central avenue (the house now owned by 
Mrs. Vincent Brown), is located the only drug store in the Walnut 
valley. It is 40x40 feet, with a proprietor about five feet by 240 pounds, 
which is to say. Doc White. When gathering the notes from which to 
prepare this article the doctor said: 'T make no pretensions financially 


but physically I am as big as any of 'em.' The doctor has been a Icnig 
time in Southwestern Kansas, having' succesfully practiced medicine in 
Lyon county nine years before coming to Butler. He commenced busi- 
ness here in the fall of 1868 by opening as fine a stock of dry goods and 
groceries as has ever been offered in this market, which, together with 
the doctor's plain, honest and outspoken manner of dealing, soon won a 
full share of the people's patronage, and his trade went on swimmingly 
until last July, when, actuated by the want of the people, he concluded 
to sacrifice his flourishing trade in dry goods and groceries and put in 
his extensive stock of drugs. This is the first drug store in El Dorado, 
and to judge from the amount of its trade, we conclude our citizens fully 
appreciate it is for the public good and will not allow its generous pro- 
prietor to be sacrificed. His trade is increasing rapidly and the doctor 
is compelled to enlarge or rather build a new store room, which he pro- 
poses to do at an early date. He is also dealing in real estate consider- 
ably. Besides his Emporia property he owns 150 acres of Wilson's ad- 
dition and quite a number of lots in the old town site. Our citizens 
are all pleased at the doctor's success in business, for to "do unto others 
as he would have others do unto him," has ever been the motto of Dr. 
Allen White. 

"Mr. (Thomas G. ) Boswell, who owns the beautiful farm cuunected 
with the original townsite on the northeast, has laid out an addition of 
ten acres- making fifty lots adjoining Lower's addition on the east. The 
grocery store of J. B. King, 16x36 feet is situated on the west side of 
Main street. Mr. King came here in '63 and except the time he served in 
the Union army army has been engaged in general merchandise. J- C 
Fraker & Company began business here about the first of last December. 
Their store is built of first class pine with latest style of glass front, is 
located on the northeast corner of Main street and Central avenue. April 
I, they will increase their stock to $10,000 which will necessitate the 
enlarging of their store house to the size of 23x50 feet. Chas. ]\L Foulks 
(Mr. Fraker's partner) has charge of the store. Mr. Foulks has had a 
great deal of experience in this line of business, having clerked for 
Governor (C. V.) Eskridge of Emporia for a number of years. Messrs. 
A. D. Knowlton and Ed C. EUet, formerly of Bunker Hill, Illinois, lo- 
cated here in the hardware business in the latter part of December. They 
built one of the best buildings in town on lot one in block two. It is 
16x44 feet with glass front. They have everything from a needle to an 

Messrs. H. H. Gardner and John Gilmor, late of Chicago, have lo- 
cated in El Dorado and are preparing to wholesale and retaildry goods, 
groceries and hardware on a larger scale than any house in southern 
Kansas. These gentlemen bring with them Chicago ideas of improve- 
ment and are building their store house accordingi}-. It will cost about 
$3200, is two stories, made of good pine timber, with latest style glass 
front, heavily corniced windows, etc. For beauty and durability they 


can safely challenge comparison with any building in the southwest. 
Our citizens can justly feel proud of this grand structure and we hope 
they will reciprocate by giving a liberal patronage to the new firm. Mrs. 
M. J. Long (Mrs. E. H. Clark) and Miss Close are preparing to open a 
complete stock of millinery in their new building in Lower's addition. 

Jacob Gerhart, Esq.- who has been here about a year, is doing a suc- 
cessful business. He keeps on hand a large stock of saddlers' hardware 
and is an energetic and industrious worker. . . . Here too, we 
find the shoe shop of Henry Rohrs. He is a good mechanic and is always 
busily engag"ed at his bench. Messrs. Holt and Wagner (butchers) buy 
nothing but fat stock and keep the market constantly supplied with the 
best fresh meats. Messrs. Strickand & Son are doing an extensive busi- 
ness ironing wagons, shoeing horses, etc. R. Hallett is just completing 
large livery stable which he will soon have open for business. 

Messrs. Bronson & Kellogg are doing a thriving real estate busi- 
ness. They are among the first settlers and are of course thoroughly 
acquainted witli the real estate of the Walnut valley. Dr. H. D. Kellogg 
came here when an isolated log cabin marked (if he could have seen it 
through the sunflowers) the present site of our more, than flourishing 
town. She was young and feeble and of course needed a physician. 

D. M. Bronson has served the citizens of Butler county as 
register of deeds, which has given him a thorough knowledge of all the 
titles in the county. He is now county attorney, besides serving the 
State of Kansas as journal clerk of the senate. Our citizens all agree 
that whatever greatness in point of progress and improvements El Do- 
rado may claim today is in a large degree owing to the energetic efforts 
of Dr. H. D. Kellogg and D. M. Bronson. Salee, Gordon & Company are 
also doing a lively real estate business. W. A. Salee is the present 
register of deeds. The law firm of (William) Galligher & Moulton have 
connected with their practice a real estate agency. W. P. Campbell, at- 
torney-at-law, came here from Kentucky last fall and is gaining a large 
share in the practice of his profession. Mr. Campbell has taken a home- 
stead, i6o acres, two miles west of town. Dr. J. C. McGowan came here 
a short time since and could get a good practice if this climate was not 
so unfavorable for his profession. Dr. E. Cowles, homeopathic physician, 
has a fair practice. He is principal of our high school. Messrs. Sleeth 
Bros, have located their saw mill on West Branch at the north end of 
Main street. Their machinery is all new. Burdett & Sheeler are putting 
in a saw. mill five miles south of town. John Wayne & Company, who 
are doing such an extensive luniber business all over southern Kansas, 
have established a branch yard at El Dorado under the supervision of 
their accommodating agent, M. B. Raymond. S. P. Barnes is building a 
neat little office at his lumber yard on lot No. i, on North Main street. 
The following are architects and builders : McFeely & Gordon, Ward 
& Potts; and Crimble & DeLong. Each of these firms is prepared to 
take contracts. D. A. Rice & Company and Eli Corliss carry on masonry 



and plastering. John Cook, Esq., is an old settler in Butler county. He 
opened the first hotel in El Dorado, has handled considerable real estate 
property and made lots of money. Mr. S. Langdon (Sam) came here 
in an early day and has devoted his exclusive energy to the interest of 
El Dorado, having among other things built the El Dorado House, the 
largest stone structure in Butler county. . . . He is a sharp and 
shrewd trader and while keeping an eye to his own business is ever seek- 
ing to benefit the community. 

T. R. Pittock is truly one of the leading spirits of El Dorado. He is 
making money rapidly but is keeping it invested in such a manner as 
to benefit the public as well as himself. His new mill compares fav- 
orably .with any in the state. He has recently purchased the El Dorado 

/ ,W/-: ^^.*.« >'..''••.- 




House and proposes to enlarge it by an east and west ell 24x30 feet, two 
stories, with twelve rooms, which together with the large stone building 
and the old house repaired will make a first class hotel. William Jewell, 
who owns so much land in Butler county, located here in about a year 
ago. He purchased one-fifth of the original townsite of El Dorado. 
Many of the lots he has disposed of at a sacrifice to induce immigrants 
to locate and build our town. He very generously donated one of the 
best lots on the west side of Main street to the newspaper enterprise, for 
which he will accept our thanks." And these were the business men of 
little El Dorado. The population in 1870 could not have exceeded 400 
people. There were about fifty business and professional men. 

The county officers at this time were : W. R. Brown of Cottonwood, 
district judge; H. D. Kellogg, county clerk; Henry Martin, county treas- 


iirer ; \\\ A. Salee, register of deeds; A\'. E. Harrison, probate judge; 
James Thomas, sheriff; j. W. Strickland, coroner; Daniel M. Bronson, 
county attorney; T. R. AA^ilson, county surveyor; S. C. Fulton, M. A. 
Palmer and Martin Vaught, county commissioners. A. G. Bailey notified 
that his wife had left his bed and board and he disclaimed all responsi- 
bility for her; and L. A. Phillips gave notice that he had sued Mrs. 
Phillips for divorce. 

The lumber price list was: First and second clear, one to two-inch, 
$65 per 1,000 feet ; select, $55 ; common, $45 ; flooring, $72 ; ceiuimon, $40 ; 
ceiling, $55; siding, $27.50 to $32.50; fencing, $40; dimension lumber, 
2x4, 2x6, 2x8 and 2x10, $40 to $42.50; "A" sawed shingles, -6.25; No. i 
warranted, $5 to $5.50, mouldings, battens, etc., manufacturers' prices — 
freight added. Kellogg & Bronson and other agents advertised land 
and lots thus : Dwelling, on lot 2, block 15, North Main street ; one story, 
four rooms, $700. One hundred sixty acres adjoining El Dorado on the 
north, all bottom or second bottom timber and water, $3,000; eighty 
acres, a mile northeast of town, half bottom, on Emporia State road,$io 
per acre; eighty acres on Whitewater- adjoining town of Towanda, fine 
bottom, $8 per acre; the southwest of 21-24-6, all choice bottom near 
Chelsea, price $1,200; 240 acres, thirty-five cultivated, forty-seven fenced, 
hewed log house. No. i spring, good timber and water, in section 3-25-5, 
$3,150; 1,440 acres, part of section 7-8 and 9-25-6, forty acres broken and 
hedged, thirty acres of timber, $6 an acre; eighty acres in 2-25-5 on West 
Branch, forty acres broken and under fence, $1,600; 320 acres, the north 
half of 22-25-5, $5 P^J" acre ; southwest of 3-23-7, $3 an acre ; west half 
of 10-23-7, $3 an acre. 

"Stock in Butler county is doing exceedingly well, has required a 
little feed this winter. There are about sixty boarders at the El Dorado 
House. The building is crowded to its utmost capacity all the time. xA. 
M. Burdett is putting up a beauty of a residence at 39 Central avenue. 
It is 16x28 feet with an addition on the north— cost $3,000. School dis- 
trict No. 2 built the first stone school house in Butler county. It has a 
sightly location, six miles north of town, is 20x30 feet and ten feet be- 
tween floor and ceiling. E. L. Lower has just moved into his new 
residence in block three. Settler street. Mr. Lower has surely grown up 
with the town, at least he vacates the oldest house in El Dorado. Hav- 
ing built it before the town was surveyed, it happened to be located in 
the middle of Main street and last week he moved the relic to his new 
home for a stable. (This cabin stood in front of and a little north of the 
Farmers and Merchants National Bank.) 

"Our office is located in the second story of Martin's building 
(southwest), corner of Main street and Central avenue. A\'e issue 2,000 
of the "Times," dating the paper for several days in advance of our issue 
to give us time to get out our next issue. Our paper is printed in bre- 
vier and nonpareil. We have about forty fonts of display and job type. 
Our double medium Washington hand press is entirely new and of the 


most approved pattern. We will have a new jolj press soon. Are pre- 
pared to do all kinds of job work cheaply and expeditiously. Our entire 
office cost $2,000. 

"Persons have asked ns how far we were from Indians and l)uffalo. 
We will state that we are on the verge of civilization. About three hours 
ago the last Indian might have been gathering his blanket around him 
and silently departing for more genial climes. He was closely followed 
by his squaw and faithful dog. The last buffalo, of the male persuasion, 
after gazing for a few moments at The Walnut \\alley "Times" office, si- 
lently dropped a chip or two, or perhaps three, and departed thence, not, 
however, until we had securely fastened 100 copies of the "Times" 
to his tail. AVe will say to Eastern readers that the civilizing and en- 
lightening influences of the papers thus scattered will prevent any more 
shedding of blood on the border. 

"Chelsea, a beautiful town on the Walnut, about nine miles north of 
El Dorado, was laid out a year ago. There are eleven houses on the 
townsite. A new school house, 26x38 feet, one story high, of pine lum- 
ber, has been put up this winter and will be ready for occupancy in a 
short time. Saddler & Becker (O. E. Saddler and John C. Becker) are 
engaged in the merchandizing business. J. B. Shough owns and runs the 
hotel. The building is a two story frame of sufficient dimensions to ac- 
commodate the traveling public. We understand Mr. Shough is making 
arrangements to start a county seat here soon. 

"Knowlton and Ellet in connection with their hardware have a tin- 
shop . . . and have secured the service of Wm. M. Rinehart, 
with an experience of thirty-five years and cannot be excelled by any 
tinner in the West. J. B. Parsons, painter, glazier and paper hanger, has 
permanently located in El Dorado. Presbyterian Church : Rev. J. Gor- 
don, pastor; M. E. Church, Rev. Garrison (S. F. C. Garrison?) pastor. 
Services alternate twice every Sabbath at the new^ stone school house." 
This school house was about 22x30 feet — one story, and stood on the 
southwest corner of the block corner First avenue and Washington 

Murdock & Danford, the editors, advertised themselves as also in 
the real estate business. 

"The first settlement in Butler county," says a description that was 
run for months and months in the paper, "appears to have been made in 
1857 and '58 on Walnut river, but owing to the drouth of i860 and the 
unsettled and exposed condition during the four years of war succeeding 
there was no substantial growth until about 1864, when Butler county 
was organized. The county as at present constituted is forty-two miles 
long and thirty-four and one-half east and west. Since 1864 the country 
has been filling up rapidly, by hardy, industrious people, representing 
almost every state and nationality. Butler is the last organized county 
in southeastern Kansas, is about too miles south of Topeka and 125 west 
of Fort Scott. There is very little waste. The county lies entirely west 


of a chain of semi-mountains known as the Flint Hills. There are no 
swamps or other accumulation or stagnant water in the county, hence 
no malaria. Coal has been found in various places, but is yet undevel- 
oped. The county seat is permanently established at El Dorado, a young 
but flourishing town, located very near the geographical centre of the 
county and scarcely two years elapsed since the organization of El Do- 
rado and she now numbers about forty-five houses with as many more 
contracted for building this spring; but a number are now in process of 
erection. Several business houses are going up. We now have three 
stores of dry goods and general assortment, one drug store, a hardware 
store, two grocery stores, a large stone hotel, a fine stone school house- 
just completed, livery stable, harness shop, meat shop, four saw and 
grist mills, two lumber yards, two real estate offices, three law offices, 
two practicing physicians, a blacksmith shop, etc. It is possible to be- 
come quite excited over the marvelous rapidity with which our young 
town is growing into a city ; but you need not deem us extravagant 
when we predict that at least 125 good buildings will go up here within 
the present vear." 


By the Late H. H. Gardner, in 1895. 

H. H. Gardner, (deceased), an early day merchant and later a banker 
writing for the Pioneer Edition of the "Times" in 1895, had this to say of 
the men most prominent in the city's affairs in those trying days. 

"You have requested me, Mr. Shelden, to give my recollections of 
some of the people who lived in El Dorado during the early days. The 
year 1870 was the important year of pioneer life for this city. I say im- 
portant because the foundation of its future was then prepared by those 
who cast their lot and fate with the fortunes of the place and the hoped- 
for city in future. 

"I arrived here on the 7th day of January, 1870, coming by private 
conveyance from Eureka, which had a hack line from Emporia ; a tri- 
weekly line started at the beginning of the year, and this route was rec- 
ommended to me by old man Robinson, who kept the Robinson House 
in Emporia. It was by his advice I sought the Walnut valley as a 
promising place for a young man wherein to choose a home and grow 
up with the country. It was five o'clock in the evening when I crossed 
the ford south of where R. O. James' mill stands (long removed), and 
drove up through the main street of the village to the corner where the 
State bank of El Dorado now does business (now the Citizens State 
bank). A stone hotel with a frame addition then occupied that corner. 
The stone part was new and the carpenter's bench was still in the office 
part of the building. The landlord was Sam Langdon, who met me at 
the door and to my request for a room for myself and companion John 
Gilmor, replied we could have a bed but no room to ourselves, for the 


house was not partitioned off yet nor the upstairs even plastered. We 
secured our bed in the southwest corner upstairs and deposited our lug- 
gage underneath it and were then ready to pay off our driver and begin 
sizing up the town. We were somewhat chilled from the long drive and 
the coldness of the day and needed— at least we thought we did — a nip 
of ginger essence or something of that nature to start our circulation 
and Avarm the cockles of the heart. We were referred to a building at 
the end of the block east of the hotel, which was pointed out as Dr. Allen 
White's 'foundry' with a drug store in front, whither we repaired and 
were greeted by Dr. Kellogg, who was the clerk of the store. The doctor 
could not be prevailed upon to give us anything straight, claiming the 
law would not permit, so we left him grumbling and feeling down on 
the town. The axiom of try, try again was then put thoroughly in force 
and brought its promised reward when we struck Henry Martin's store, 
then a square front, wooden, two-story building, standing on the corner 
where George Tolle now obligingly deals in his choice selection of hand- 
me-downs. (Haberlein's clothing store now.) The bluff English Henry 
took in my Dundreary side whiskers, spotted me at once for a Brittisher, 
and listened to my tale of woe. Joe Potter — all old timers will remem- 
ber Joe — took us into the back room, disappeared down cellar and 
brought up a tin pint measure of Pike's Old Magnolia, then quoted at 
$1.75 per gallon, with gold at $1.20. The chill was averted, the malaria 
killed and we thought better of the town and the people. 

"Returning to the hotel we found the room full of people preparing 
for supper. There were so many, we remarked, that 'the whole popula- 
tion must eat with Sam, and that was about right, for I had to wait for 
the third filling of the dining room. When all S£ats were taken, if one 
opened the door and looked in to see what his chance was, he was 
laughed at by those eating and the cry of 'Scooped, Scooped !' was fired 
at him with a malignant festivity that made him get out and close the 
door in a hurry. I caught on next day to the a la mode of the burg. I 
braced myself against the dining room door about a quarter of an hour 
before it opened ; I was shot in quickly like a package from a pneumatic 

"During the next day we made the acquaintance of the reading and 
representative citizens of El Dorado and were introduced to C. M. 
Foulks, John H. Betts, N. F. Frazier, Judge J. C. Lanibdin, Dr. J. P. Gor- 
don, Capt. A. D. Knowlton, Ben King, Doc. White and Judge Sallee. 
Doctor Gordon had a twenty-five foot stick in his hand that he used to 
measure off town lots with, and he immediately tackled us on the ques- 
tion of town lot buying, assuring us that the Chicago we had left would 
be a 'one horse town' when compared with the great metropolis that was 
to be built upon this site. 

We did not decide to permanently locate, when we tossed up a Ca- 
nadian penny with the Queen's head on one side to decide our fate. If 
it came head up we were to remain and if tail, to return to Emporia. 


It came down head side up. Thus how and when we became citizens of 
El Dorado, and now that a quarter of a century has passed away I draw 
upon my memory for its recollections of those early days, I find faded 
negatives stored away in the cells of the brain. They flash to the front 
with vivid and distinctive outlines that prove what a wonderful store 
house it is, a photographic depository bringing back the scenes and faces 
viewed in the long ago. 

"That I have only pleasant memories of the good pioneer friends I 
made in 1870 and who are not here today, I can truthfully say. There 
was then no caste, no clique, no sect or church separation. We were as 
one common community dependent on each other for social intercourse, 
company and human sympathy, a commune, a socialism or interdepend- 
ence which growth and development spoiled, then crushed and its recol- 
lection to all who participated therein can, I am sure, be only a most 
pleasing reminiscence. 

"I think Dr. Allen AMiite was the strong central figure in El Dorado 
in the days of '70. He was enthusiastically interested in the growth and 
progress of the town and hardly a night passed that he did not have some 
private or public meeting of the people to discuss something- of import- 
ance. He would go his rounds and notify us all to come out. He was a 
Democrat, but local issues then were paramount and 'Doc' would remark 
that he had 'to plow with the Republican heifer for the common good.' 
He was the author of the remark that there was 'no general or state 
statute against damned fools.' In fact, his quaint and terse sayings were 
the bonmots of the time and today constitute the special provincialisms 
of old El Doradoites. AVhen he traveled he always carried a bottle of 
water in his pocket so. when he discarded his chew of fine cut he could 
rinse out his mouth without leaving his seat. Five feet one wav and 220 
pounds all over, he hated to get up and sit down often," but when on his 
feet and in motion he moved brisky for one of his size. He had enter- 
prise and built a showy drug store where Hitchcock's store now stands, 
the large fine house on Central avenue and laid out the handsomest 
block and planted trees upon it where Judge Leland's and Ed C. Ellet's 
(H. Hitchcock's) houses are built. 

"Henry Martin was county treasurer in 1870 and had the county 
safe in his store. There was not *nuch money on hand and the script 
passed current in trade among the merchants, but as Henry was the 
treasurer he had a monopoly and what we now call a cinch on his kind 
of traffic. He lived on his farm where the John Teter farm is now, and 
owned much good town property. The era of '70 brought business com- 
petition to El Dorado and Martin could not stand the new and less pro- 
fits in selling, so in time his substance melted away and he lost most of 
his possessions. He was an honest, kind hearted man. He would now 
and then hit a little too heartily the 'flowing bowl' and when so fixed his 
favorite remark was 'my name is Haitch. Haitch Martin, and I'm hon 
it !' the English massacre of the letter. H being at that time most pro- 


nounced. Alartin lost his life while out on the plains on a buffalo hunt 
with John L. Cupples and others. He came home badly frozen and died 
from the effects of the exposure. 

"T. B. Murdock and J. S. Danford were the first proprietors of the 
Walnut Valley Times. The office of the paper was in the second story 
of Martin's store. Danford attended to the outside business and sold 
and traded the town property that was given the firm as a donation to 
induce the establishment of the paper in El Dorado. Murdock was the 
editor and worked at the case. Both being- strong men mentally, they 
exercised great influence in the community and were at the head of 
about all matters of general interest. Danford sold his interest in the 
paper and was appointed clerk of the district court, justice of the peace 
and I think probate judge. I know he held three offices at the same 
time. He finally established the first bank in the tow-n, then changed to 
a First National bank — this when charters were hard to get and the 
privilege was not free as now. I never met a brighter, smarter man than 
Danford and he grew rich fast on three and five per cent per month, the 
rates for money. He lacked discretion and made too public the nature 
of his business and his daih' 'rake offs' which he should have kept to 
himself. He left here wdth a good stake and moved to Osage City and 
afterwards branched out in a syndicate of banks extending from Cald- 
well to Carbondale. All went to pieces one day and he was held up at 
Caldwell by the cow^ men. a rope put around his neck to scare him to 
make good the losses to the Caldw^ell people ; but he persuaded the 
lynching committee to spare his life and he would straighten out mat- 
ters ; but if they killed him they could never hope to seciu^e a cent. His 
plausible reasoning and the efforts of his true wife in his behalf got him 
out of his tight place. His wafe once nursed me through an attack of 
bilious fever which followed my experience of the tornado here and I 
gratefully acknowledge my debt of gratitude therefore and for her other 
kindnesses of heart I make thankful and respectful recognition. 

"Judge J. C. -Lambdin was the youngest old gentleman Tever knew. 
He was a friend that could be depended on, as true behind your back as 
he was warm and genial to 3^our face. His tall, commanding form w^ould 
have made him a man to be observed anywhere. He fought the county 
seat and political battles of El Dorado with a fervor that was admirable. 
At a time when he needed it I was able to help him secure the govern- 
ment place he held when he fell dead in Wichita and his warm apprecia- 
tion of my efforts in his behalf made me feel good all over whenever I 
thought of the deed. I was pall bearer at his funeral and God knows I 
mourned him sincerely. 

"Bill Galligher, Col. Henry T. Sumner and W. P. Campbell were 
the legal lights of those early days. Galligher had great natural ability 
and a homespun grade of wit that always provoked laughter by its dry- 
ness and quaint expression. The Irish in Sumner w^as the dominant 
characteristic, and he had the whole town nicknamed. Some were bish- 


ops. Others president, elders, princes, grand dukes, and other hifalutin 

"John Long in those days talked learnedly of history and his war 
and political knowledge Avas unequalled among us all. There w^as an- 
other John whose surname was Donnelly, who was the wit par excellence 
of the town. He was a harness maker by trade, but upon his first ap- 
pearance he played the role of a tonsorial artist. When John's nerves 
were all right you got a clean shave, but after an alcoholic jubilation, 
how your face would suffer and bleed. John sold his barber shop and 
opened out in the horse millinery line and did a flourishing business, put 
on the brakes and made a splendid man of himself. At repartee he was 
a regular terror and there was a pitched battle in the joke line ever 
waged between John and Frank Frazier and John Betts — one side hav- 
ing the victory for a time, but ever watchful for surprises. John had a 
mule that he had taken in trade that he wanted to sell.- He led him down 
town from his home stable and hitched him to a temporary awning post 
in front of his shop. He found a farmer wanting a mule and was ar- 
ranging terms of sale and eloquently expatiating on the many good qual- 
ities of his mule with the farmer who was inside the shop. Frazier had 
taken in the performance when he saw the farmer examining the mule, 
and when he went inside with John, Frank walked quietly down the 
street from his corner store above and when right in front of the mule 
took off his slouch hat, flourished it and with his characteristic 'Get out- 
you son of a jackass,' he scared the mule so badly that he jerked the 
awning post out and galloped up Main street at his best pace taking the 
post along with him. Donnelly and the farmer came rushing out and 
gazed at the vanishing beast and the farmer told Donnelly that he would 
not give a dollar for such a vicious animal. Donnelly looked down the 
street and saw Frazier so unconcerned and quiet and he at once smelled 
the mouse and waited for his turn. There came a Polish peddler one 
evening to his store, who could talk Hebrew lingo better than he could 
English. Donnelly told him there was a merchant in the store on the 
corner who spoke the same language the peddler did. 'He is ashamed, 
however, of his nationality,' said Donnelly, 'and has changed his name 
since he came to this country. He calls himself Frazier now but his old 
name was Slavinski. Come with me and I will introduce you to him, 
and when you address him in his old home tongue I think he will be glad 
to see you and will buy a bill of goods from you.' The peddler was 
taken to Betts & Frazier's and Frazier was called for and introduced to 
him. He began giving Frank his Hebrew lingo at once and copiously. 
The stony gaze of Frank soon riled him and as he did not reply he 
changed off to broken English and rudely damned him as a man ashamed 
of his country and his mother tongue and walked out of the store in dis- 
gust. Of course Donnelly stayed and enjoyed his avengement of the 
mule trick. 

"C. M. Foulks, who managed the J. C. Fraker general store, was one 


•of the 1870's, a tall young- man, with piercing black eyes, raven hair and 
high color in his cheeks. Charley was the handsome man of his day. 
With a young blonde wife in striking contrast to his brunette style, the 
pair was much admired. I had the honor of prescribing for him for in- 
digestion and dyspepsia, and he now claims he had to leave town to 
escape my medicine and avoid an early grave; truly an ungrateful 
accusation for my tender care of his health and my recommendation 
to always take gentian in his. 

"Ed C. Ellet was the first of the young men to bring a wife here. He 
built the house that I. C. Thomas now owns, the first one south of J. R. 
Cooper's. (This house stood between the homes of R. H. Hazlett and Dr. 
F. E. Dillenbeck and is now removed.) It looked a long distance out to 
his home, for there was a larg"e tract of unoccupied land between the 
four corners and his lot. He was joked about building so near Towanda 
and asked if he would have his mail to come to him at El Dorado or 
Towanda. This location is now the choice one upon the town site. We 
had our first large surprise party at his house, taking canned cove oys- 
ters, crackers and canned fruits with us. Mrs. Ellet furnished the milk 
and made home-made cake, and the jolly time of that party was the 
topic of talk for many weeks, and before and after this partv were quota- 
ble dates concerning all events for many months thereafter. Airs. Ellet 
had what the French call chic, and was so pleasing and gracious of man- 
ner that everybody was her friend. She was very young and extra good 
looking, and when we bachelor youths would visit Ed's snug and at- 
tractive home we would be full of envy at his comfortable lot. That pic- 
ture hastened on the Benedict act with many a lonesome youth. 

"Wm. Price was one of our first teachers and school principals. 
He was useful in all good works, superintendent of the union Sunday 
school, and the Sunday he took off to get married, Geo. Tolle, who was 
secretary, read the Scripture lesson, the one that speaks of the man who 
married a wife and could not be on hand. George's application was con- 
sidered a good one. If he had desired a coup de etat he could have taken 
the superintendency. 

"James Thomas was sheriff in 1870 and made a fine officer. After 
his time expired he opened what was then called the Palace Saloon. 
Jim claimed he started the saloon because he was a philanthropist and 
realized that men in those days of excitement and rapid development 
would drink and use daily a certain amount of stimulant ; he proposed 
to give them good goods in his line to substitute for the sulphuric acid 
drinks, a milder poison and a slower one. His new era was for the 
general betterment, and under the benign influence of his better goods, 
the howls on the street at night were lessened ; his whiskey had less fight 
in it and did not beget a fusilade ^of revolver shots as a fitting accom- 
paniment. So his mission paved the way in due time for the evolution 
of the belief that even good whiskey saloons were not a necessity to the 
welfare of the town, and by process of further thoughtful development 


came the climax of the absohite prohibition that now prevails in Kansas. 
Jim started the ball a going", I really do believe. 

"R. T. Whelpey came here from Chicago in April, 1870, to clerk for 
Gardner & Gilmor. Dick, as he was familiarly called, was a city youth 
all over, and the country air and the hunting- so handy was a great treat 
to him. He took his gun one afternoon and went out and shot a turkey 
buzzard. Thinking he had killed a genuine turkey he proudly fastened 
the bird to the barrel of his gun and sailed up Main street with his 
trophy. When he struck the Betts corner the crowd that was there 
(same way you will find the corner today) took in the situation and 
cheered him lustily as he passed. He took it for a compliment till he 
was told of his mistake and he was all broke up and had to buy the 
brandied peaches to have the thing hushed up. 

'T hardly know if Frank Gordy is far enough away to make it safe 
for me to dare characterize him. AVhen Frank was "off-'.' no frontiers- 
man was ever more gentlemanly, genial or kindhearted than he. Noth- 
ing small or mean about Frank ; generous to a fault, lavish with his mon- 
ey which he carried in rolls ; pleasant to meet and intelligent in his talk 
which had a spice of racy western phrases that to a novice were enter- 
taining and captivating. He was the beau ideal of his kind. When he 
was "on," oh, my ! but he was the holy terror of the place. He would 
ride his Cheyenne pony into any store he could enter from the sidewalk, 
demand to be waited on for his particular vanity, which was cove oys- 
ters in the can soured up with acid vinegar to a pitch that would pucker 
up his tongue and mouth so that his volapuk would be shut off and he 
could only gesture like a deaf and dumb man. Those gestures, however, 
were of a nature that spoke louder than words and made his attendants 
waltz to his signs with amazing alacrity and no smart clerk here today 
could move so fast as did the clerks and proprietors of the store Frank 
honored with his horseback visits. There was no polite 'come again, 
sir, we will be pleased to see you.' When Frank backed out, the door 
was generally closed and bolted for fear he would ride in again. I will 
remember my first observation of his peculiar prancing. It was only 
a few days after I became a citizen that just at dusk R. H, Cooper drove 
over from Emporia with a spring wagon full of prospectors and left 
them at the hotel. It was just before supper and the hotel office was 
crowded with the waiting hungry throng. Frank opened the door and 
inquired if Cooper was within ; said he wanted to kill him, because he 
was not going to allow anyone from Emporia to come down here and 
run the town. He had his pistol in hand and not finding Cooper he 
blazed away at the lamp which had a reflector behind it and was hung 
well up on the wooden partition. How quickly that office was emptied 
and the guests dispersed! Some lifted the windows and jumped out, 
others rushed out by -way of the dining room and he was left to sole 
possession. It was 7 o'clock before things were calm and supper could 
be served. It was his night to howd and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. 


His tempestous career closed one night and for how, when and where I 
refer the readers to Elisha Cook of Fairvicw. This past time I have 
spoken of was the mere el:)unition of the eccentricity and idiosyncrasy 
of Frank when 'on.'" I have done him justice when he was 'of.' and if 
he should ever see these lines I beg his pardon for my little tale of his 
reckless days. He owned the i6o acres south of Central avenue, the 
orioinal town site of El Dorado and received many thousand dollars 
from the sale of his lots. One street of the town bears his name and he 
gave what is noAv the park to the town. 

"Old preacher Hathaway was a Universalist, came here early in 
'70 and took a claim east of Dr. E. Cowles' farm on the Eureka road. 
The first nig-ht in the old stone hotel there were some thirty-six of us 
sleeping upstairs and soon after the old man went to bed he began snor- 
ing at a fearful rate. He awakened Bob Holt, then the meat market man 
of the town, and Bob yelled out: Tf you don't stop that noise, my 
friend, one of my boots may get to wandering around and hit you on 
the nose.' The old man got out of bed, put on his trousers, went down 
to the hotel office and returned with a brace of pistols which he placed 
under his pillow and then announced that he had his light artillery with 
him and if any boots wandered in the vicinity of his nose he would reply 
with a cannonade. He soon went to sleep and snored without further 
disturbance, for ever}^ one felt that he was not carrying blank cartridges 
in his guns. 

"Dr. J. A. McKenzie was the first competent physician who settled 
here. Perhaps no one today in El Dorado has more friends than the 
doctor. He has a taking way with him that is natural and not cultivated. 
So in the early days he became very popular and the dependence of the 
best families of the town and county. He always brings cheer to a sick 
room and his personal magnetism is known and felt. I once knew of a 
sick person twenty miles out in the countr}^ who declared if he could 
only have Dr. McKenzie prescribe for him and come and see him he 
knew he would surely get well. The faith in the case was with the pa- 
tient ; the doctor went, and, presto, the sick was well again. 

"Ed Stevenson was our first permanent artist photographer and 
when tin-types were the vogue Ed could hardly supply the demand. 
His studio would be as bus)^ on Saturdays as a grocery store is nowa- 
days. He has stuck to us and is today well-to-do and enjoying life com- 

"Ben King had one of the best stores in El Dorado, about in the cen- 
ter of the block betweenTolle's and Pattison's, was considered an honest 
square merchant and controlled a trade that stayed by him for years, 
long after the town put on city airs. He moved to the corner where 
Wackerle's grocery now is and his next door neighbor was Alex Blair, 
who first came to us as a stage agent in Augusta in 1870. Ben and Alex 
were like twins and in and out of each other's place of business and no 



rivalry or business competition ever brought about disagreement be- 
tween them. 

"Frank Anderson's father, James Anderson, was one of the first men 
to buy a valuable Main street lot and thus show his faith in El Dorado's 
future. I think it was about where W. Y. Miller's drug store is. Being 
a man of positive character and sterling qualities, he was soon picked 
out as good timber for sheriff and the choice proved a good one. He 
made a most honorable, faithful officer. Frank succeeded him as a 
sheriff. After his retirement from business he was the constant com- 
panion of his son and the tie between them was so close and devoted that 
everyone spoke of it. Frank lives to mourn a loving father and to care 
for his mother with a filial affection that is most praiseworthv. 

"Jerry Conner had El Dorado located on his land before the Gordy 
tract was laid out and has been here much longer than any of the comers 
of 1870. He was always the same genial man that he is today and his 
happy manner has always given him hosts of friends. Judge Lambdin 
and Sam Hyde were his running mates for years and the trio were al- 
ways true to each other as steel. 

"John Friend and his father, while not in town, lived so close that 
they were part and parcel of its life. Father Friend was elected to the 
legislature after a stormy political campaign against Baker of Augusta. 
He made a good speech, was a man of dignity and fine bearing and bore 
the brunt of many a political fight for El Dorado. John yet lives on 
the old place where he has a handsome home. He is growing old grace- 
fully and the time is dealing gently with him. 

"E. L. Lower owned the 160 acres north of Central avenue and his 
log cabin stood somewhere in the street between the John Betts corner 
and the Exchange National bank. In January, 1879, North Main street 
was laid out and several buildings were facing thereon before Lower's 
cabin was moved. He had sold a number of lots in his addition to Judge 
Lambdin, J. R. Mead and S. P. Barnes but still retained enough of his 
claim to have made him a rich man. He sold out in blocks however at 
low prices, but had considerable assets in notes. These he shaved at 
the appalling rates then prevalent and after Danford had his bank going 
it absorbed much of Lower's profits, so that in a few 3^ears he had vir- 
tually nothing left of his magnificent domain and promising estates. 
Lower was scrupulously honest and had great faith in mankind. He 
was thus imposed upon greatly to his detriment. There was great ri- 
valry between the north end of town and the south end and when a new- 
comer concluded to buy lots he was bewildered by the tales he would 
hear, and many disgusted with the fight left the town and would not set- 
tle in it. The south end or the B. F. Gordy original townsite had the 
best rustlers. Dr. Allen White, Capt. Knowlton and Ed C. Ellet were 
the strong workers for it and they secured the best of the new buildings 
and thus settled the question. The standard of realty values thus estab- 
lished remains unimpaired today. 



"Jim Karnes was our first city marshal and in 1870 the city marshal 
was a man of importance and was generally chosen for his intrepid qual- 
ities, for he often had wild and wooly men to handle. A stage stable 
hand got drunk one day and felt like running amuck, so Jim started out 
to take him in. The stable hand was on the corner of Sixth avenue and 
Vine street. Jim went to the stable and told the man he had come to ar- 
rest him. He picked up a pitchfork, ran Jim out of the barn and as far 
as the Chicago store which had the sidewalk elevated in front. Jim here 
made a stand and emptied his pistol at the advancing man with the 
pitchfork. He missed him and on he came, and Jim moved on. 

"L. B. Snow was a prominent figure in the early days, a builder, 
contractor, brick maker and an all round, active man. He built the 
Exchange National bank building (now the Farmers & Merchants Na- 


tional bank) and 1)nrned the first kiln of bricks that were made here. 
He had an interest in the first bank and was a money-maker. 

"In these hard up days when values are depressed and money tight 
and scarce it is a mental feast to think of the flow of money in such 
abundance as we had here in the days of new beginning. A man would 
sell his claim, have $1,000 or more in his inside pocket and come to town 
to put the funds into circulation. I remember a young man (we will 
call him Smith) who walked into my store one day and gave me $1,200 
to keep for him. He had been baching on his claim for some time and 
was seedy and rough looking. He wanted to try the other extreme for 


a while, so laid out the best clothing outfit I had. with a broad rimmed 
brush hat that was a dandy, and high heeled top boots wath yellow 
Texas stars on the front that loomed up like sunflowers in a field. He 
took his old togs and threw them out the back door and started in from 
feet to head with new^ under and outer wear. When arrayed in his new 
suit Solomon in all his glory never felt so well satisfied with himself. 
\A'ith pockets full of cigars and one tip tilted in the sangfroid style of a 
cowboy he departed for the barber shop for the completion of his clean- 
up. He filled up gradually and nicely and avoided the high toot pitch. 
The swi-agger to his air was inimitable and show^ed that his body was tak- 
ing great comfort and ease in eating and drinking and making merry. 
Playing his little game of poker wnth the boys he happily passed the 
days, the w-eeks and lengthened out his dolce far into the months till 
the fatal morning came to him at last, as it does to all such revelers, and 
he was back to his normal condition — busted— cleaned out, physically 
jaded and nothing like the man he was wdien his ship came in with its 
first good freight. He went out from us. to the farther frontier to pre- 
empt or homestead or use some right still left to him for another piece of 
land and a fresh stake, if secured, would probably go the same Avay his 
first one did. The young man claim seeker and reveler is now' a charac- 
ter of the past — we ne'er shall see his kind again. 

"I will close W'ith a brief mention of many of those w'ho figured in 
the history of El Dorado twenty-five years ago. Charles Selig, who was 
the head clerk and manager for Dr. AMiite. is here todav. one of the 
wealthiest citizens and one of the best all around informed men in this 
state. Geo. Tolle, then clerk with Charles Foulks, is still with us, a lead- 
ing merchant and a most respected man. Dr. J. A. McKenzie, John Car- 
penter, Dr. J. P. Gordon, his son Miller and J- ^^'- Small are still in the 
flesh and still call El Dorado their home, but time is telling on the old 
guard and their number, like the old army pensioners, will grow less with 
the passing of a few more years till the last one will be left to tell his 
tale of the early days to an audience unappreciative, out of touch in 
heart and mind ; and who will call the teller of the blue moulded narra- 
tives a bothersome bore wdio is interested only in the musty past." 


In March, 1881, El Dorado had reached the dignity of 2152 people; 
the county had a population of 17,096. From 1870 to 1875 there had been 
constant bickering and quarreling in the county over the location of the 
county seat. If no fight was on by reason of Augusta's efforts to wrest 
the county seat from El Dorado, then Douglass and Augusta combined 
in efforts to divide the county. These plans and plottings were flus- 
trated by more or less honestly conducted elections in each of which a 
greater or less number of illegal and bonus votes were cast, not by one 
but by both sides to the contests. The A. T. & S. F. Railway had ex- 


tended a branch line from Florence to El Dorado in 1877 and El Dorado's 
trade was large from the southern part of the county until the Frisco 
Railway was constructed in 1879 and Beaumont. Leon and Andover, 
smart little towns, cut off a portion of the trade. There was much de- 
pression felt in El Dorado, it was feared that Augusta would again seek 
to take the county seat which increasing- votes would enable her to do. 
But El Dorado had been hedging-. In 1870, largely if not entirely 
through private subscriptions the east third of what w^as then the court 
house was erected. This building steadied the minds of the people in 
the central portion and northern half. Augusta made her last battle and 
lost it. Then in '75 the county commissioners "repaired" the court 
house and in doing- so managed to 'a little more than double its size. 
Then "Honest John" Fullinwider effectively headed off further trouble 
in that direction. He was elected to the state legislature and passed an 
act providing that when county buildings whose cost was $10,000 or 
more were erected at the county seat, county seat elections should not 
be called oftener than once in five years and then only wdien petitioned 
by two-fifths of the qualified electors. Then the dissensions wdiich had 
annoyed and disturbed the people for ten years forever disappeared. 
Things began to brighten for El Dorado because the Missouri Pacific 
railway was being extended from Ottawa southwest to Yates Center 
and the Fort Scott, Wichita & Western (now the Missouri Pacific) was 
organized and was building westward from Fort Scott, reaching El Do- 
rado in the winter of 1882-83, bringing in a period of growth and develop- 
ment to the town and ending in the "boom" of 1887. 

March 4, 1881, T. B. Murdock, then editor and proprietor of the 
Times in a "Goodbye" to the people of Butler county, announced the 
sale of the paper to Alvah Shelden. He called attention to his eleven 
years of newspaper work, beginning as an inexperienced writer and edi- 
tor, of his endeavor to give the county a "respectable" newspaper and 
one that would represent the intelligence, the growth and prosperity of 
its people ; and how well he had succeed he left his friends to say. He 
regretted the severance of social and political ties. He commended Mr. 
Shelden as an "honest, competent, and trustworthy man." 

The new editor in his greeting said : "From my youth it has been 
my desire to be editor and proprietor of a newspaper. There is nothing 
particularly inviting about the profession except its variety, there is the 
spice of life about it but it entails hard and constant work to make it suc- 

In 1881, according to the "Times," practicing attorneys in El 
Dorado were A. L. Redden, Robert A. Cameron, C. B. Doughters, C. A. 
Leland, A. W. Dennison. A. L. L. Hamilton, Lafayette Knowles, F. L. 
Jones and S. E. Black; physicians, M. E. Pratt, E. Cowles, J. A. Mc- 
Kenzie, C. II. Davis and C. M. Hughey ; blacksmiths, Johnston & 
(William L.) Pattison ; dentist, D. M. Doty; pork packing, John H. 
Betts ; hotels, El Dorado House, Central, Lutz & Jackman, proprietors ; 


the \Miitehouse, Dr. Allen AMiite, proprietor (now home of Vincent 
Brown) ; National Hotel, oppositte (north of) the court house, L. B. 
Snow, proprietor (noA\- the ^^l'lite House). Mrs. Carrie A. Camp, pro- 
prietor) ; boot and shoemaker, Isaac DeCou and John Karouse, James 
Hughes; secret societies, Patmos Lodge, No. 97. A. F. & A. M. ; El 
Dorado Lodge, No. 74, L O. O. F., L. C. Pickerel, N. G., Joe E. Mc- 
Kenzie, secretar}-; Friendship Lodge, Rebeka Degree, \\\ H. Dulevy, 
N. G., R. H. Julian, secretary; Knights of Honor, E. A\'. Hulse, dictator, 
G. M. Weeks, Reporter; Royal Arch Masons, J. S. Dutton, H. P., C. N. 
James, Secretary ; markets, John R. Stewartson ; liver}', Nate Roberson, 
Hecox & Fackler, L N. and George Phillips (on the site of Ellett's 
opera house) ; architect, Charles A'. Blanck ; lands, loans and abstracts, 
D. L. Knowles, S. L. DeTalent & Company, (Thomas E.) Woods & (S. 
E.) Black; coal, J. F. Bartles ; auctioneer, A. M. Warren ; furniture- 
Abraham MuSelman & Son, J. T. Oldham & Company; millinery, Mrs. 
J. AA\ Davis; land and loan agents at Leon. J. M. Kilts and J. King; 
stationery, (Alvah) Shelden & (Marion) Shelden, Dr. A. Barrett; El 
Dorado mills, Burdett & AVeeks, proprietors; money lender, George W. 
Scott ; nursery stock. William Litson, of Benton ; dressmaking and sew- 
ing. Mrs. Coney ; land and loan agents. AA^illiam J. Cameron and J. M. 
Lambert ; dry goods, clothing, ladies' cloaks, John H. Ewing & Com- 
pany, H. H. Gardner & G. W. Tolle (who dissolved partnership at this 
time — Gardner to enter the Exchange bank as cashier), Meyer & Bros. 
(J. C. and Fred), including groceries; hardware, W. W. Pattison, Maris 
& Ream, (Ed. C.) Ellett and (C. L.) Turner; sewing machines, J. B. 
Marcum ; Exchange bank, Neil Wilkie, president. Dr. Allen White, vice- 
president, Samuel L. Shotwell, cashier ; \A^estern Lumber Company, M. 
M. VanDenberg, manager; billiard parlor and saloon, James Thomas; 
druggist, (C. H.) Selig & (G. D.) Gossard (dissolved partnership about 
that time) ; Dr. Addison Bassett. 

The officials of Butler county in i88r were as follows: E. S. Tor- 
rence, judge; C. P. Strong, county clerk; Milton Bradley, treasurer; W. 
H. Douglass, sheriff; E. D. Stratford, probate judge; E. E. Harvey, 
register of deeds ; Lafe Knowles, county attorney ; C. N. James, clerk of 
the district court; J. W. Shively, county superintendent; H. C. Gabbart, 
county surveyor; J. yi. AVilliamson, coroner; H. N. Pearse. Chelsea; S. 
F. Packard, Rosalia, and M. Guinty, of Fairmount, county commis- 

Of coarse, not all of the business of El Dorado was represented in 
the "Times," but the larger portion was. 


El Dorado, the principal city and capitol of the "State of Butler," 
tlie largest count}^ in Kansas, has a population of about 4,000. It is the 
geographical center of one of the wealthiest farming and stock-raising 


counties in the West. It is beautifully located on tiie west bank of the 
Walnut river and sits like a queen on her throne, overlookino; the pictur- 
esque and fertile Walnut valley, one of the richest portions of country 
east of the Rockies, and teeming with rural life and wealth, the result 
of nearly a half century of the toil, frugality and economy of the people 
who in all these years have called this "Garden of the West" home. 

From a humble beginning, it has grown to be one of the most im- 
portant points in Kansas from a social and business standpoint. Few 
cities of its size can show cleaner pages in municipal history, or a more 
solid, substantial balance in the ledger of the business world. Figures 
will not lie, nor will the balance sheet of the accountant mislead or 
deceive. The statements made in these pages are quotations from the 
records and are founded upon fact. Investigation by the doubter or 
the honest inquirer will reveal that no city of its size outside the manu- 
facturing districts can show a greater A^olume of business, in receipts 
and shipments, trade in mercantile lines, bank deposits, receipts from 
the sale of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, poultry, eggs, dairy products 
and alfalfa and prairie hay, than passes through the legitimate chan- 
nels in this market. 

• Two systems of railroads, the Santa Fe and Missouri-Pacific- with 
the ]\IcPherson branch, make it a point easily accessible from all direc- 
tions, and these lines make close connections with trains on other 
lines from the principal cities north and southeast and west. Two 
good depots, one a new and strictly modern building, furnish ample 
accommodation to waiting travelers and have the capacity to care for 
and handle all of the enormous freight traffic that makes this city its 

County roads run in all directions through the country tributary to 
El Dorado, which ordinarily are kept in fine condition and make travel- 
ing on the public highways a pleasure. These roads are under the 
direct supervision of the county commissioners and a fund is provided 
ample for keeping them in good condition. 

The schools of El Dorado are not only the pride of the city and 
country, but they, because of the high standard, of their management 
and the success attained, have gained a reputation that is state-wide and 
attracted many outside of the confines of Butler county. The high and 
grade schools are surpassed by none and have few equals. Besides these 
very essential features El Dorado has nine churches, a high school, a 
grade school, two ward schools, and two to be erected at once, in 
time for next term; a $10,000 Carnegie library, a new $100,000 court 
house ; a movement is on foot to erect a $30,000 jail ; more than two miles 
of new street paving, and the contract is let for forty-three blocks more, 
which is in process of construction. 

The city is illuminated with a beautiful white way, and a system of 
Tungsten street lamps, which are located on all the principal streets. 
These lights are furnished by current from the service of the Kansas 


Gas and Electric Company, which suppHes light, heat and power to the 
business and homes of El Dorado. A system of natural gas is furnished 
by the Wichita Natural Gas Company for heating and lights. One of the 
most complete and efficient system of water works to be found in the 
West is owned by El Dorado and under municipal control. There are 
four banks, four big department stores, two general stores, two shoe 
stores, two big furniture stores, two undertakers, two large hardware 
and implement stocks, four large garages, five drug stores, two book 
stores and news stands, four jewelry stores, three dry cleaning and 
tailoring establishments, four hotels and seven restaurants and rooming 
houses, one ice plant, one carriage factory, one steam laundry, two meat 
markets, five bakeries, five grocery stores, six lumber yards, five black- 
smith and ivagon shops, two second-hand stores, four repair and shoe 
shops, two daily papers, two weekly papers, three printing establish- 
ments, one municipal building, six barber shops, two clothing stores, five 
supply houses for the oil field, one hospital, eight physicians and prac- 
titioners, one photographer, two millinery stores, o^ne opera house, two 
moving picture theaters, one dairy barn, four livery and feed stables, one 
alfalfa mill, two fine parks, one branch of the Bell telephone system, 
tAvo electric shops, three dentists, fifteen attorneys, two abstract offices, 
twelve real estate and insurance offices, one tinshop, one candy factory, 
one coal yard and hack line, two delivery systems, one transfer line, 
one poultry house, one marble and granite works- two elevators and 
warehouses, two plumbing establishments, sixty producing oil wells in 
the newly discovered field, and more being brought in daily ; four oil 
companies located with permanent offices in El Dorado, and contractors 
and builders commensurate with the live, growing town, and one which 
has the brightest prospects in the universe. 

El Dorado is most favorably located, has the most beautiful scenery, 
and more, of it; more stately trees, whose branches meet across the 
street, and more of them, than any town in the West. It is a city of 
homes, many of them palatial. Its educational and church privileges 
and its high social standard make it an ideal community in which to 
live. It is a clean city, inhabited by a live, energetic class who never 
knew failure because of a disposition to do things and possessed of a 
feeling of pride in themselves and neighbors. 

This story would not be complete without mention of El Dorado's 
Commercial Club, which is not only thoroughly organized, but has just 
completed the furnishing of elegant quarters, where the business inter- 
ests of the community center and where the stranger looking for busi- 
ness and investment will find a cordial welcome and render every as- 
sistance it is possible to give. The members are a lively bunch, and 
their watchword is "El Dorado." 





By M. Guinty. 

Fairmonnt township was organized January 6, 1873. The first 
election was held in April following. The first township officers elected 
were: M. Guinty. trustee; A. J. Nation, treasurer; I. J. Davis, clerk; 
J. Cutler and F. S. Wallace, justices of the peace; D. M. Daffron and 
G. A. Watson, constables. 

In 1870, H. D. dinger and family, J. C. dinger, George M. Daffron 
and James W. Ferguson came from LeClare county, Minnesota, and 
located in what is now Fairmount township. John W. Williams came 
in May, 1871, and Asa W'hite in the fall of 1870, but later moved to Story 
county, Iowa. Mace Nickeson, John Fullerton and Samuel Fullerton 
moved from Illinois in the fall of 1870. Albert AVorline, Marion Worline, 
Jerome Worline- Monroe Worline, John Burns and Alexander Kennedy 
came from Pleasant Hill, Cass county, Missouri, in May, 1871. Evan 
Jones and Dick Jones came in May 1871 also. J. K. Nellans came from 
Rochester, Fulton county, Indiana, March 22, 1876. In 1878 he bought 
and settled on the northwest quarter of section 3, which he made his 
home until February 27, 1916, when he met death by being run down 
by a Rock Island passenger train at Elbing, Kan. Peter Dyck, Abraham 
Regier, J. W. Regier and Bernhardt Regier came from Mt. Pleasant, 
Iowa, in 1885. These people were the nucleus of the Mennonite Ger- 
man settlement which has extended at this time to almost one-third of 
the present township. They are among our best citizens and have some 
of the finest farms and best improvements there are in the county. They 
are good citizens, thrifty, honest and hard-working men and women and 
attend to their own business strictly, apparently enjoying life to its full- 
est extent. 

In May, 1871, the following families came from Woodbine. Harrison 
county, Iowa : I. J. Davis, John A. Baskins, A. Davenport, M. Guinty, 



William Robinson and Henry Robinson. Singleton Shepherd came from 
Missouri in 1(870 and resided here until 1890, when he left and moved 
to Chautauqua county, Kansas. Mathew Stipe came from Indiana in 
October, 1873, and is still residing in the township. A. J. Nation came 
in March, 1871, and died on the home place in March, 1905. J. J. Lyon 
and James Clark came from Missouri in 1871. J. B. Spangler came from 
Pleasant Hill, Mo., and settled on the south half of the northeast quarter 
of section 14. He is one of the few that still owns and resides on the 
land which he homesteaded. Alexander Hewitt came from Keokuk, 
Iowa, with his family in May, 1871, and still owns and resides on his 
original homestead. Milton Embry came from Missouri in 1872. A. G. 
Moore, J. P. Moore, Aaron Branson and A. Brubaker and families came 
from Iowa in 1871. Hiram Brown located in the township in 1871. In 
addition to those above named, quite a number of others settled in the 
township in early days and have since moved away and their where- 
abouts are unknown. 

Fairmount township did not have as many homestead settlers as 
some of the other townships in the county for the reason that the odd 
numbered sections in the township were the property of the Sante Fe 
Railroad Company, having been donated to it by the government to as- 
sist it in constructing the railroad, and these sections were not subject 
to homestead entry, and hence there was not as many homesteaders in 
our township as in other townships. The township has seven miles of 
railroad, being a branch of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad 
Company. The town of Elbing is an enterprising little place, consist- 
ing of a bank, of which Herman Jackson is president, and D. C. Crosby is 
cashier ; two general stores, a hardware and implement store, lumber 
yard, together with a postoffice, blacksmith shop and other lines of 
business and all seem prosperous. More live stock is shipped from this 
point than any other point within 100 miles of it on the Rock Island 
railroad. For a number of years, the citizens of this town were com- 
pelled to go to Peabody in Marion county to get their mail- that being 
the nearest postoffice. 


January 6, 1873. 

Fairview township is described as follows : Township 25, range 4, 
east. The first officers were elected April 5, 1873, as follows: For jus- 
tice, J. M. Randall received 31 votes and Lewis Maxwell received 31 
votes. They cast lots and Maxwell won. For clerk, H. H. Hulburt, 31 
votes (elected), and G. S. Nye, 31 votes; for treasurer, J. A. Godfrey, 31 
votes (elected), and H. G. Whitcomb, 31 votes; justices of the peace, 
Milton Braley and Isaac Varner were elected ; constables, E. A. Mc- 
Anally and Benjamin Atkison were elected. 


By H. li. Hulbiirt, in 1895. 

It is pleasant to look over the past and to note the events of long 
ago. In my boyhood days I used to take great delight listening to 
my father- and an uncle whose name I bear, talking over their early 
history, incidents of their boyhood days, and of scenes and neighbors of 
their old home in old Connecticut. There is a fellow feeling the old 
settlers of any community have for each other, and to recount the scenes 
and events of which each one is a part and personally interested is pleas- 
ant and helps to bind the ties of friendship and the bonds that make 
us neighbors and friends. 

The first settlement made in my township, Fairview, was by a Swede 
named John Hink, in 1857, near the mouth of Rock creek. The same 
year, but a little later in the season, a man by the name of Burge At- 
wood settled in the northwest corner of the township. Atwood went to 
the war and died in the service of his country. In 1866 John Fulk bought 
the place of his widow. Fulk lived on the place ten or twelve years and 
moved to Elk County. Wesley Hager settled in the southwest part of 
the township in 1858. He did not own the place and left it, and a man 
by the name of McKee sold it to Martin Green, who in turn sold it to 
J. R. Appleman. In 1858 Peter Johnson settled in the northwest part 
of the township. He went to California. Isaac Gillian, Daniel Hosier, 
Anthony Davis. Ben Atkinson and Kirk and Perkins lived on section 
19 at different times between i860 and 1870. The first really permanent 
settlement on this section was made by Lewis Maxwell in the spring of 
1872. Christian Jacobs settled in the northwest part of the township 
in 1866. His time of residence dates back farther than anyone now re- 
siding in the township. S. S. McFarlane settled in 1868 and is the sec- 
ond oldest resident. J. P. Blankenship settled on the townsite in 1867. 
He left years ago and when last heard from was in Arizona. Twenty- 
four years ago, during the summer and fall of 1870, the following persons 
made permanent settlement in the township : J. A. Godfrey, Hezekiah 
Hayman and son Robert. W. H. Fountain, Levi Thompson, E. B. Cook, 
I. F. Wheaton, F. M. McNallv, A. J. Boyles, E. O., G. S. and J. T. Nue, 
Martin Pierce, A. S. Cory. G.'d. McDonald, H. B. Hulburt, L. V. Olin, 
Silas Welch, Joseph Sharp and Frank Tipton, and of these twenty-nine 
are still residents of the township. Hezekiah Hayman and wife are both 
dead and are buried in the West El Dorado cemetery. His youngest 
son, H. C. Hayman, now lives on the old place; Robert Hayman lives in 
. Middleport. Ohio ; Levi Thompson lives in Michigan ; J. T. Wheaton, 
when last heard from, lived near Charlotte- Mich. G. S. Nye left here 
twenty years ago, married and lives at Galesburg. Mich. His oldest 
daughter came to Kansas last summer and is teaching the school in the 
Coppins district in Plum Grove. G. D. McDonald, when last heard from, 


was in Chicago ; Martin Pierce died some fifteen years ago and is buried 
in the West El Dorado cemetery ; his widow still lives on the old farm. 
Joeph Sharp lives in El Dorado and is an extensive fruit grower ; Frank 
Tipton died in Colorado and was brought back and buried in the Tow- 
anda cemetery. 

During the spring, summer and fall of 1871, the following persons 
settled in the township: I. D. Varner, George Byers, Thomas Andrews, 
William Paul, Levi Varner, H. H. Hulburt, J. A. Haymaker, Bert Olin, 
William Snyder, J. F. White, D. D. Winkler, W^illiam Painter, A. L. 
Wheaton, Richard Childers, Richard Taylor, J. M. Randall, H. G. Whit- 
comb, F. Flagg, Jacob DeCou, Mrs. S. J. Foskett, George Foulk, F. 
Meyers, Martin Reynolds, J. R. Appleman, William Grey, John Edmis- 
ton, E. G. Richards, John Hayes, John Stunkard, D. W. AVeidman, Mil- 
ton Braley, Charles Torrey, D. M. Baker, J. S. Dick, Mr. Potter and 
Charles Girod. Of these thirty-six only nine are still here in the town- 
ship. . Three, Milton Braley, William Paul, William Grey, are dead. 
Four are living in El Dorado, Richard Childers, Jacob DeCou, Martin 
Reynolds and D. W. Weidman. Thomas Andrews and L. M. Varner 
are in Oklahoma, Bert Olin is in Ohio, J. F. White is in Iowa, H. G. 
Whitcomb is in New Mexico, J. A. Haymaker is in Colorado and D. M. 
Baker is in Iowa. The whereabouts of the rest are unknown. 

As this is not designed as a complete history, but to recall the early 
scenes of the county, I will not follow the settlement farther than the 
year 1871. 

The first township election was held in April, 1873, nearly twenty- 
two years ago. I. D. Varner was elected one of the justices at that 
election. He is still a resident of the township and was elected to the 
same office last November. E. B. Cook and H. B. Hulburt killed a deer 
near where the Springdale school house now stands, during the winter 
of 1870 and 1871. 

There are a few persons who deserve mention as eacly comers who 
are not usually spoken of in that connection. They were boys and girls 
when they came with their parents, but have grown to be men and 
women and the heads of families. Miss Rosette Childers is Mrs. E. B. 
Cook and has six daughters to help wash the dishes and make things 
lively. H. T. Foskett is married and has two pretty little girls and 
lives within a few rods of where he held the plow while his mother 
drove the ox team to break the first sod. Henry Hayman lives on the 
place his father homesteaded a quarter century ago ; his wife was Miss 
Maud Heath, of Towanda. Then there are the Baker boys, Warren, 
Jake and Milton. AVarren went to Iowa and got a wife and Jacob mar- 
ried Miss Minnie Varner, whose parents were among the first settlers 
here. Milt has rented a farm with a house on it and married Miss Dona 
Cameron. I. D. Varner has so many girls scattered around here and 
there that he can hardly keep track of them. Susie, however, is still 
a resident of the township, the wife of A. N. Torrey, and is prosperous 


and happy. Emery \"arner was a small kid when he came here. He is 
married now and lives near his old home. Alost of the young- people who 
came here at an early day and have married have, like their fathers, gone 
west or to Oklahoma. 

In these early times it used to be a pleasant pastime in the fall of 
the year for two, three or more neighbors to drive to the Medicine Lodge 
country and hunt buffalo and lay in a supply of meat for the winter. 
"Jerked" buffalo is good, but the bison of the prairie, like the noble Red 
Man, is a thing of the past. 

We look back with many pleasant reminiscences, contemplate with 
pleasure and meditate upon the scenes and incidents of the past. Most 
of these recollections are pleasing, but there are some that cast a gloom 
and a sadness over us. 

A tragedy occurred during the fall of 1872. On the afternoon of 
October 20, a prairie fire started in the west part of the township, an6 
the "head" fire spread in a northeast direction. Al Wheaton, his wife 
and two children, a girl and boy, were on the prairie with an Ox team 
near Four-Mile creek. When they saw the fire approaching, Mrs. 
Wheaton became frightened and took her little boy and jumped from 
the wagon. There were no improvements near and at that time no hedge 
rows broken, nothing to stop a prairie fire when once started. There 
were but few roads in the township at that time except the old Cali- 
fornia trail, but that w^ould have no effect in stopping- such a prairie 
fire. A prairie fire in those days was a fearful thing. Mr. Wheaton 
saw the danger they were in and tried to save his wife and boy. The 
little girl was left in the wagon, the team ran away, and this was the 
means of saving the little girl's life. The roaring, panting, awful flames 
came rolling on. They were all badly burned, and in a few hours 
death relieved Mrs. Wheaton and the little boy of their sufferings. Mr. 
Wheaton was so badly burned that he barely escaped with his life and 
was helpless all winter. One of their nearest neighbors saw the sad af- 
fair and caught the team and took the family home. The tragic death of 
Ainsworth Baker, son of D. M. Baker, was another sad event in early 
history. He was herding cattle for James F. White and went out in 
the morning as usual and w^as never seen alive. He rode a mule and 
it was seen late in the afternoon without a rider. Search was made, but 
young Baker was not found until the next day and was so mangled as 
not to be recognizable. Three Indians were seen in the vicinity that 
day, but whether they had anything to do with the death is not known. 

Edwnn Corey is one of the boys who grew up here, married and is 
still a resident of the township. 

The early pioneer did not have the easiest time by any means. There 
were difficulties to overcome and trials and privations to endure. In 
1 87 1 Emporia was the nearest railroad point and freighting was a busi- 
ness that gave employment to many, and to be caught out on the prairie 
with a load of freight in a blizzard placed a fellow in a trying situation ; 


and yet that was the \va3- many of the Avell-to-do farmers of the present 
day paid for their sugar and coffee, their flour and bacon, while they 
were getting a start. 

The grasshopper year of 1874 was peculiarly distressing and fraught 
with trials and difficulties that tried the pluck and energies and stick-to- 
itiveness of the average Kansan. Butler county was in an undeveloped 
condition. Her resources were dormant and what at that time made her 
grateful for the kindness and help of friends and the charity of the 
world would at this time be thought to be trifling and insignificant. The 
summer of 1874 was a dry one ; the amount of cultivated land was small, 
the experience in farming in Kansas was limited and the teams almost 
invariably small. Added to the drouth was the inevitable chinch bug, 
and when the first of August came there was little left to encourage the 
farmer and nothing left to appease the appetite of man or beast. On 
Saturday, August 7, a little before noon, grasshoppers came in count- 
less millions. They literally obscured the sun, and what little of corn 
and potatoes and "garden truck" there was was licked up immediately. 
Something had to be done to relieve the wants of the people and make it 
possible for the settlers to live through the winter. And let me say 
right here that a wrong impression prevails in the East to this day in 
regard to this time and trial. It is still thrown at our State that we had 
to depend on the charity of friends. The older States seem to think we 
are not a producing people, and this, too, right in the face of the fact 
that Butler county has sent train loads of corn and provisions to re- 
lieve the flooded districts of Ohio, and the destitute of other places. Dr. 
Allen White and others went East and solicited aid for the people here. 
Donations came in generously, for which the people were very grateful. 
A county committee, J. C. Riley, Sr., C. C. Currier, J. D. Connor and 
Dr. Allen AMiite were appointed to receive and distribute the provisions 
and clothing donated. Augusta also had a committee and made appeals 
for help. Lewis Maxwell, of Fairview, went to his old home in ]\IcLean 
county, Illinois, and secured a carload of corn. When it came it was 
divided up into ten-bushel lots and given to the farmers. That ten 
bushels of corn to each was all that many a man had to feed his team 
while he put in his next crop. 

Those days are of the past, and Butler county and Kansas are able 
to take care of themselves and are ready and willing to help others of 
new and stricken lands if need be. 

Added by Rollo Hulburt, 1916. 

S. S. McFarlane died several years ago and his widow lives in El 
Dorado. J. A. Godfrey moved to Arkansas eighteen or twenty years 
ago, where he died. E. B. Cook and wife live at Elcelsior Springs. Mo. 
F. M. McAnally died and his widow lives on the old place. A. J. Boyles 
lives on the old place, his wife having died in 1916. S. A. Cory and wife 


live in Towanda. H. B. Hulburt and wife are one of the few couples 
that live on the old homestead. I. D. Varner lives with his son Emery 
in Southwest Fairview and is in very poor health. H. H. Hulburt's 
widow lives on the old homestead. Richard Childers lives in El Dorado. 
J. M. Randall lives on the old home place with his daughter ; his wife 
died some years ago. Mrs. L. J. Foskett lives on her old homestead 
with her son, Herman. He has bought the place. John Edmiston and 
wnfe live in Towanda. Charley Torrey moved to Colorado years ago. 
• Charles Girod and wife live in the township. J. T. Nye died a few years 
ago. His son, Roy, lives on the old place. Mrs. Martin Pierce is 
deceased, and her youngest son Will lives on their old place. Chris 
Jacobs is dead and his youngest son Charley lives on the old homestead. 
Warren Baker, wife and family live in Fairview. Jacob Baker and fam- 
ily moved to Sumner county three years ago. Milton Baker and family 
moved to California years ago. 


By L. D. Hadley. 
What! Shall I write the history of a township? I, a beardless 
youth with matted hair? Wait! Hold on, old boy, look in the glass. 
Well, no wonder, when I stop to think, it was more than thirty years 
ago since I first cast my eyes on the beautiful prairie that constitutes 
Glencoe township. My first night was spent in the little village of 
Keighley. On inquiry I found that this town had been platted and 
deeded by Moses Turpen and Josephine, his wife, August i6, 1880, the 
same year the Frisco railroad was built, who, by the way, were at this 
time living in a dug-out or sod house just south of town. These were 
pious people of Mormon Faith — some of their descendants still live in 
Butler county. Perhaps the most striking character in the village was 
Uncle Stephen Thurman, who, for many years, kept hotel ; but time has 
moved him and his good wife on and out. Of the older people living 
near Keighley, we might mention Allen Brown and wife, both deceased 
now. A number of their descendants are now figuring in the game of 
life in and near the town ; also John Brown, Alex Husk, H. M. Taylor, the 

Paynes, G. W. Miller, John McRitchie, Blankenbaker, Benjamin 

Fillmore and many others who served their time well, but now deceased. 
I believe the oldest settler of Glencoe township now living is Joel Parker, 
who still resides where he did thirty or more years ago. John Hoover, 
who drove his covered wagon into grass as high as the wagon itself and 
drove the stake on his claim, which was his home for many years after- 
ward, is living in Oklahoma. F. J. B. King, now of El Dorado, was close 
to the first settler in the township. W. B. Keith was an old soldier and 
prominent township politician, will be remembered by many. Keith 
church was due to his energy. 


Glencoe also has another town, IJeauniont, located on the edge of the 
Flint Hills country. It was platted and deeded by Edwin Russell and 
Emma, his wife, March 28, 1881. Several additions have been platted, 
such as Cooper's. Hightower's, Summit and Rogers' additions. This 
thriving little vallage not only has the Frisco railroad, but a branch 
road built in 1885 leading off to the south and connecting Beaumount 
with many towns of importance. This tow^n has a railroad turn-table 
and furnishes work for a number of men. The Beaumount State bank 
was organized in 19 — , and F. T. Hopp is now cashier. This village is 
quite a healthy place in which to live and contains a number of happy 
people, and all lines of business are represented and in a prosperous 

Glencoe township was formerly a part of Little AValnut township. 
On May 11, 1877, a petition was presented to the board of county com- 
missioners asking that that portion of Little Walnut described as all 
of township 27, range 7, and all of township 27, range 8 in Butler county 
be organized as Glencoe township. The petition was granted and the 
first officers elected were: John J. Brown, trustee; G. W. Miller, treas- 
urer; John McRitchie, clerk; Charles Taliaferro and W. B. Keith, jus- 
tices of the peace; F. J. B. King and Peter Johnson, constables. 


By J. O. Evertson. 

Probably the first settler that lived in Hickory township was a man 
by the name of Myers, who, with his two wifes, lived in what is now the 
David Brittian farm, but, like the element to which he belonged, he was 
compelled to keep in advance of civilization and so moved on about the 
year 1870. A child of his was probably the first white child born in the 
township, also a boy of his was probably the first white child buried in 
the township. 

Dr. J. A. McGinnis, a widower, together with his brother, A. F. Mc- 
Ginnis, and his two sons, S. A. and AY. F., came from Lyons county in 
the year 1868 and settled on a claim in the forks of Hickory on the 
southwest quarter of 14-28-7, and a part of which is now owned by 
Samuel Ramp and the remainder by James Brewer. His brother, A. F. 
McGinnis, pre-empted the land now owned by Clarence Dillon, the 
southeast quarter of 15-28-7. Among the next arrivals were J. A. Arm- 
strong, who bought out Mr. Myers, and established a general store at 
Old Brownlow. Mr. Bartholomew and J. F. Comstock arrived about 
the year 1871 and settled on the south fork of Hickory. About this time 
J. M. Hampton and family came from Kentucky. Before they had 
settled on their claim and while yet living in their wagon, they had the 
misfortune to lose their only daughter, and, there being no graveyard, 
she was buried on what afterward became their home, now the farm 


owned by Frank Comstock. About this time Wesley Cornell settled 
on what is now a part of the Evertson farm. H. L. Lemon pre-empted 
what is now the Will Hurt farm. Settlers began to arrive thick and 
fast. Aaron Surber, John Wing, John Hearne, Will Drury, N. Blunt, A, 
D. Stone, for whom Stone Branch was named, some of whom settled, 
and others drifted on away. Jerry Campbell, who now resides at Mor- 
rison, Okla., and H. M. Shannon, now of Attica, Kan., were typical 
happy-go-lucky, carefree bachelors of the frontier. When Hickory 
township w^as settled, Emporia was the nearest railroad town, from 
where most of the provisions were freighted. The first store was operated 
by Dr. J. A. McGinnis at his residence, where he dispensed green coffee, 
salt pork, sorghum molasses and corn meal. Few luxuries found their 
way into these frontier stores. With him from his home in Coffey 
county, he brought the first seed corn, which he sold at $5 per bushel. 

The first regular mail was carried from El Dorado by a son of 
W^esley Cornell. The trip was made weekly, most of the time upon a 
bare-backed pony, for which service he received the princely sum of $3 
per trip. The first school for Hickory township was conducted by a 
Mrs. Whittlesy, the wife of Fie Whittlesy, on the Hayes farm, now 
owned by Marvel Kelly. The first church service, which consisted 
chiefly of exhorting and hymn singing, was conducted at the home of 
J. A. AIcGinnis. The audience consisted chiefly of the local bachelors 
and recruits from the neighboring settlement on Rock creek, near the 
present site of Latham. Among these visitors were Prosser brothers. 
Will, James and Alvah, and the VanMeters. The first Sunday school 
was organized in 1881 by Dr. J. B. Carlisle, who was then just a school 
teacher, teaching in what is known as the Lost school house. Here the 
school was organized. When his term of school was out, Mrs. Martin 
Reecher took up the Sunday school work and continued it intermittently 
until her death a few years ago. The first court of justice for Hickory 
township was conducted by a justice of the peace named Lamont, who 
resided over the line in Logan township. His court was very popular 
because it was an established rule that all cases in his court were de- 
cided in favor of the party bringing the suit. 

June 16, 1871, the settlement was visited by a cyclone which, having 
destroyed the city of El Dorado, lifted and did little or no damage until 
it reached Hickory township, where it committed havoc in the timber. 
The Semishes, who had recently arrived from Holton and were yet 
camping, were all, six in number, in their covered wagon. This wagon 
was blown over and fortunately no one was hurt. Jerry Campbell and 
Billy Brown were camped in a shack on their claim on Honey creek ; the 
shack was blown away and the occupants were blown into the creek. 
The two-storv frame house of Dr. J. A. McGinnis, whicli was at that 
time the only frame house in the township and probably the only two- 
story house in the county, was totally destroyed. In this connection 
might be mentioned the destructive fire which visited the township in 



the fall of 1873. It originated somewhere near El Dorado and, driven 
by a northwest wind, swept rapidly across the country, driving the 
coyotes, deer and other Avild inhabitants of the prairie scurrying before 
it, leaping streams as it came to them and leaving desolation in its wake, 
surging on toward the Indian Territory. Lumber which Michael Semist 
had hauled all the way from Humboldt, which he had to build his house, 
was burned while he looked on helplessly. 

A history of the township's early development would not be com- 
plete without mentioning the vigilantes, which were organized by Dr. 
J. A. McGinnis and whose duty it was to dispense practical justice, un- 
hampered by the frills and red tape of court proceedings. To illustrate : 
A certain Jack Armstrong, of unsavory reputation, was known to im- 
port and harbor lawless characters for the purpose of jumping claims 
of legitimate settlers. The vigilantes waited upon him at night and de- 
livered their ultimatum to the effect that he leave the country within a 
stated time; a fight or rather a rackett ensued. Some shots were fired, 
some of which passed through the house of the host. It was never 
known whether the shots were fired by the visitors or by the host him- 
self, after the party was over, in an attempt to create incriminating evi- 
dence against the vigilantes to be used when they should be summoned 
before the federal grand jury, as they were the following winter at his 
instigation, claiming to recognize the members of the committee by 
their voices. However, nothing came of it. 

The township was organized, as it now exists, February 24, 1875. 
The petition for organization was headed by J. L. Moore and signed by 
fifty-three others. It was granted and an election ordered, and it was 
held at the residence of J. A. McGinnis, April 6, 1875, at which election 
the following officers were elected : AV. S. Dubois, trustee ; J. F. Com- 
stock, treasurer; A. F. McGinnis, clerk; Thomas Campbell and W. H. 
Baxter, justices of the peace; R. Joiner and J. W. Hearne, constables; 
Z. T. Huston, road overseer whose duties were purely imaginary. 

From this meager beginning, Hickory township has advanced to 
an enviable position among the family of townships in Butler county. 
It now boasts a population of 500, has under fence 23,820 acres, and in 
191 5 produced animals for slaughter valued at $26,725. It had 2,700 acres 
of kafir corn, 869 acres of alfalfa, 577 tons of hay, produced 3,830 pounds 
of butter, and marketed milk and cream amounting to $6,642; poultry 
valued at $4,495, and has in cultivation a total of 15,495 acres. Hickory 
has also produced its full total of country school teachers, preachers and 
missionaries, and the following county officers : W. S. Buskirk, county 
surveyor; C. W. Buskirk, county surveyor; H. I. French, county super- 
intendent; J. O. Evertson, county treasurer. 


By George W. Stinson. 

On the eleventh day of July, 1879, a petition was presented to the 
board of county commissioners, signed by P. J. Hawes and fifty-two 
others, asking that certain territory be taken from Chelsea and Syca- 
more townships and organized as a township, to be called Lincoln 
township. The petition was laid over until the next regular meeting 
of the board, and in October, 1879, the petition was granted and an 
election ordered held at the regular election in November at Woodward 
precinct, for the election of township officers, which resulted as fol- 
lows : George Hobbs, trustee; William Hoover, treasurer; A. H. Rose, 
clerk; C. Wing and John M. William, justices of the peace; Frank Free- 
man and James Rhodes, Jr., constables. 

A great portion of the northern part of the township was known as 
"Speculator's Land," that is, land belonging to non-residents, having 
been located by land warrants or script of some kind at a price of from 
fifty cents per acre up to $1.25. The odd numbered sections had been 
granted the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company by the 
government to assist in constructing the railroad through the State. 

The first settlement was in the southern portion by Charles Jeffer- 
son, in the late fifties, who came here with Dr. Lewellyn, followed by 
Nattie Thompson and John Hobbs in the early sixties. In the summer 
of 1869, a family by the name of Johnson located on what is now the 
Nuttle ranch, in the southwestern part of the township, and the whole 
family, consisting of father, mother and three children, were drowned 
during that year. 

An Englishman, name now forgotten, settled on what is now a por- 
tion of the Dowse farm, north of DeGraff. Section 27 was owned by 
Dr. Allen White and was always known as the Doctor's. Peter Hawes, 
John and F. C. Riley, Jr., William Bost, the writer, George A\\ .Stinson 
and a fe.w others were among the early settlers of what is now Lincoln 
township. A man by the name of Dick owned the land in section 26, 
through which the F. E. & W. V. railroad now runs, and Dick's Station 
was at one time the first station north of El Dorado, the postoffice being 
kept there and was called Woodward, after the maiden name of Mrs. 
Dick. There was no settlement north of this until you crossed the 
county line. A public road ran north to Florence and the U^nited States 
mail was carried through by that way to El Dorado, Winfield and Ar- 
kansas City. Later, Col. A. C. Ramsey located near where the town of 
DeGraff now stands, purchaing nearly all the then vacant land in the 
township. He laid out the town of DeGraff, moved Dick's Station to 
that place, was instrumental in having a depot erected and stock Awards 
built to accommodate himself and the cattle men of northeast Butler, 
and it is a fact that at one time more cattle were unloaded at those 


stock yards for grazing purposes than at any railroad station in the 

But very few of the early settlers survive. Some have moved to 
other lands ; some have gone to that country from which they do not 
return. Some few^ and descendants of others are still living in the 

Lincoln township is one of the banner townships of the county, 
adapted to both agriculture and stock raising, having some of the finest 
farms and ranches in the county, wdth a branch of the Atchison, Topeka 
(^ Santa Fe railroad traversing its entire length from north to south, a 
distance of about fifteen miles. 


By Charles R. Noe. 

The Indian Trust Lands: Terms of Settlement. The Osage In- 
dians owned a strip of land across the south side of the state of Kansas, 
fifty miles wide, which included the south half of Butler county until 
the year 1868, when a strip twenty miles wade, which included all of the 
reservation in this county, was ceded to the United States government, 
in trust, to be sold to actual settlers. The price and terms of settlement 
were not promulgated until the summer of 1869. viz., from forty to one 
one hundred and sixty acres, in legal subdivisions and compact form, 
i. e., square quarters or forties must adjoin or Z-shape or a forty wide 
and a mile long or less, to each qualified settler. The price was $1.25 
per acre. The claimant must have at least ten acres of sod broken and 
living water, a well or spring (many wet weather springs at certain 
seasons served the purpose), and a house (a shanty, a dugout, a sod 
house, or even a hay house passed muster in those days.") An actual 
occupation of at least six months was required, but the great majority 
of the prairie claims w^ere not "proved up" until 1880-1881. ^^'hen de- 
siring to make his final proof, the claimant appeard at the. United 
States land office, located at Humboldt until the fall of 1870, removed 
to Augusta and thence to Wichita in 1872, where he received a declara- 
tory statement of his intention to make his final proof. This statement 
gave the date and the names of two witnesses, neighbors, wdio could 
testify to the facts of his having complied with requried conditions of 
settlement. This declaratory statement was published in a newspaper, 
as near the land as practicable, for five consecutive weeks, at the 
settler's expense. 

Atigusta towmship extended from the west line of Greenwood 
county thirty-four and a half miles to the east line of Sedgwick countv 
until 1870, when Daniel Stine was trustee and assessor. In 1871, Little 
A\ alnut township was taken from this territory. It extended from the 
Greenwood count}" line to what is now the west line of Spring township. 



It also included what is now the north half of IMoomiui^ton townsliii). 
C R. Xoe was elected the first and only trtistee of the township thus ci in- 
stituted. The formation of lUoomington. Spring and Glencoe townships 
in 1872, reduced Little Walnut township to its present limits of six miles 
square. H. H. ^Marshall, who had moved from Indiana the year before, 
was elected trustee. 

Early Settlements — Though these lands belonged to the Indians 
until 1878. there were squatters along the Little W^alnut several years 
earlier. As far Ijack as i860, a settlement was estal:)lished at a spring- 
less than one mile northeast of where the Leon high school Imilding now 
raises its stately form. The ambitious squatters christened their prospect- 



ive city Crittenden. But the record drought of that year caused the foun- 
tain to recede. Excavating a depth of sixteen or eighteen feet and fail- 
ino- to find the livins; fountain, thev loaded'their effects into their horse- 
mobiles and quietly stole away, without even leaving- a record of their 
names. The first permanent settlements were made in 1868. So far as 
the writer, who came in April. 1869. can recall they were W. Packard. 
Charles Tabing, bachelors, east; AL A. Palmer, south of the present site 
of Leon ; B. F. Rickey, southwest of Mr. Palmer ; Jacob Carey, west of 


Mr. Rickey ; W. T. Galliher, south of Mr. Carey ; x\ddison Sawyer, west 
of Mr. Galliher; Joshua TuU west of Mr. Sawyer. These had their 
families with them. Mr. Sawyer was killed while out after his horses, 
about March 22, 1870. His remains were laid in the first grave in what 
is now the Leon cemetery. In the years 1870 to 1872, the uplands in 
this township were practically all settled, but it was a physical impossi- 
bility for the settlers to obtain fencing material to protect their little 
crops of sod corn, sorghum and truck from the Texas longhorns. Hence 
arose a great cry throughout the State for a herd law. This need was 
so pressing that the legislature passed a crude law in 1871, which was 
declared null and void by the courts a year later. The stock was again 
turned loose, to the great loss and discouragement of the "uplander." 
Thousands abandoned their claims. The stock men, as a rule, main- 
tained that the prairies were fit only for grazing. But the stream of im- 
migration was irresistible. Thouands of ex-soldiers and others inured 
to hardships were determined to make homes on these fertile plains. 
Hence the legislature of 1873 gave us the present stock law without 
any jokers in it. But, say, gentle reader, you who arrived within the 
last decade or two, you who gather your kafir by thousands of bushels 
and harvest your four crops of alfalfa each season, and perambulate 
and do your marketing in auto cars, it is well for you to know of some 
of the experiences and hardships of those who made present conditions 
possible. Here are mentioned a few of the drawbacks and discourage- 
ments which beset the pioneer. AVhatever he had to buy, implements, 
groceries, clothing, etc., etc., were hauled on wagons two hundred miles 
from the Missouri river. The drought, without the drought-resisting 
products of today ; the cyclone, the chinch bug, the grasshopper and the 
rapid fluctuation of prices. The horse thief also plied his nefarious in- 
dustry with relentless persistency. 

In the fall of 1870. three horses were taken from the lariat near W. 
Packard's cabin about dusk one evening. ,They were recognized as they 
passed the place of his neighbor, A. N. Sloan, and Mr. Packard was 
notified, and, in company with two of his neighbors, he started in hot 
pursuit. Near where is now the Harmony church they noted that the 
thieves had hastily pulled some grass, presumably used as a substitute 
for saddles. The third day they returned home with their recovered 
stock, badly jaded. All the information vouchsafed the incjuisitive was, 
"Them thieves won't steal any more horses." That incident, followed 
by the lynching of eight men near Douglass, put a damper on horse 
stealing as a business for a time. 

As to price fluctuations— In i860, this chronicler paid $2.25 per 
bushel for about No. 3 grade of corn ; $2.25 per bushel for potatoes ; five 
cents per pound for salt and 35 cents per pound for bacon. In 1872, this 
same scribe sold Comrade James Dodwell, of Wall street. El Dorado, 
a nicely dressed hog for $1.75 per hundred pounds, after butchering and 
hauling it twelve miles. That was the best offer he could get. 


The first school in the township was taiig-ht by J. D. Porter in 1870, 
a mile west of the Frisco depot. The first school house was the Cheno- 
weth, on the corner of section 16. a quarter of a mile west of the present 
stately Leon school buildinf^. It w^as built in 1871. T .O. Shiner taug-ht 
the first term in it. A lively literary society fourished there and many 
notable debates were held. The society paper was a gem. Too bad 
that it was not preserved. This scribe w^ould give $10 for a file of it. 
The Christian church was organized there in 1872, by John Ellis, author 
of "The AVhite Pilgrim." This was the first church of Christ organized 
m the county. 

The first village to have a blacksmith shop, a drug- store and a 

phvsician, Dr. .'was at the junction of the north and south 

branches of the Little Walnut in the fall of 1872. Some notable meet- 
ing's were held there. One held during- the winter of 1872-1873 was 
supposed to be epoch making. Two narrow gauge railroads were pro- 
projected to cross at that particular point. They were to be built and 
owned by the people. Neil Wilkie, of Douglass, afterward a State Sen- 
ator, and C. W. Packard, of North Branch, were the chief speakers. 
The proposed city was christened New Milwaukee. But the roads 
never got as far as the bond voting age, and the christener kept the key 
and stubbed his toe, so you all know Quito. 

The drought, chinch bug and grasshopper nearly annihilated the 
crops in 1874. The little wheat grown, a few patches of oats and the 
early truck was all that escaped the devastation. The hopper arrived 
on the afternoon of August 13th. The floating army formed a cloud 
(that dimmed the sunlight. Every blade of corn, even where it was in 
the shock, disappeared within a few hours. They literally covered the 
ground in some places to a depth of four inches. The lint on the lumber 
w^as eaten so that it showed spotted for two or three years. Fork 
handles and other hardwood tools and implements were nicked and 
married by them. Having done their work of destruction, the bulk of 
them took wing on the 15th and i6th. However, there were sufficient 
left to literally fill the earth with eggs in favored localities. Mrs. Hopper 
drilled a hole an inch and a half to two inches deep and deposited a 
hundred eggs or more. Then she slimed them over to resist the mois- 
ture. In the early spring of 1875 they hatched out in great numbers. 
But subsequent cold and wet weather was such that few survived and 
there was no damage to speak of in this vicinity. The field north of the 
Leon cemetery was a peculiarly favorable locality for the deposit of the 
eggs. The eld was plowed shallow early in the spring so as to cut 
the hopper nests in two. The white eggs showed so thick as to give 
the ground somethinng of the appearance of having received a skift of 
snow. This was the first and last serious invasion of the army hopper 
in this vicinity during the forty-six seasons of our residence. 

Little Walnut township voted $17,000 in bonds to the Wichita & 
Western Railroad Company (construction company for the Frisco), 



whose western terminus was then at Severy, in the spring of 1879. 
^Mien the Hne was located across his land, the writer gave the right-of- 
way and paid the president of the company, B. F. Hobart, $150 to pay 
for the right-of-way across Charle-5 Tabing's land, upon the promise to 
locate the depot where it now stands. 

The Leon "Indicator" was born and the first house erected on the 
townsite in Januar}-, 1880. The first issue of the paper, a three-column 
folio, bears the date of January 31, 1880. Here are a few of the quips 
from its local page : "The Indicator may die, its editor will die, but 
Leon is bound to make a town." "Look here — ^^Leon expects to have 
the first telegraph station in Butler county." "Don't laugh at us be- 
cause we are little, it might make us feel bad, and if we should live to 
get big enough, you might feel bad, too." "If there are not one hundred 
houses m half a mile of the Leon town well, November i, 1880, set us 
down as a poor guesser." At the above date the population of Leon 
was over 500 and it had taken rank, next to Douglass, as the fourth 
town in the county. The coming of the barbed wire fence, the early 
growing of hedge fences, the introduction of alfalfa and kafir corn and 
the building of the Frisco railroad set Little ^^'alnut township forward 
at a great pace. 

The first construction train reached the town April 29, 1880; tlie 
first regular passenger train from St. Louis arrived May loth. The 
second issue of the Indicator, which had been dubbed the "Tri-Yearly." 
was published May 8th. Up to this date very few of the upland settlers 
had made final proof of settlement. But now the lands assumed a com- 
mercial value. Loan companies were established and anxious to make 
loans on them. Consequently the rush of the claimants to secure pub- 
lication oi their final notice was something fierce. The first issue of 
the "Indicator," a seven column folio, was printed on its own Washing- 
ton hand press, June 18, 1880. It made the price for publishing these fi- 
nal notices $3, which, up to that time, had been $4 to $5. 

On Thursday afternoon, September i6th, fifty-two of these notices 
came from the land office to appear in the next morning's issue of the 
paper — and not a stick of type left in the office. But our printers said 
they would "stay" with us. So, after supper, we drove to El Dorado and 
secured from the late T. B. Murdolk, of the Walnut Valley Times, a 
big batch of nonpariel type. Reaching home at 11 o'clock p. m. the men 
fell to distributing that type into the cases. By 7 o'clock p. m. Friday, 
the work of setting the type, printing a full page supplement, folding 
and mailing the paper was completed; then home to breakfast and a 
good forenoon nap. That week the Indicator had one hundred and forty- 
three of those notices. 

F. W. Beckmeyer established the first general store in Leon ; Pal- 
mer & Westocott the first drug store ; W. J. Martin the first hardware 
store; W. L. Beadle the first hotel; Postmaster Kenoyer moved the 
office up from Tong's watermill and he and T. C. Chenoweth opened 


one of the first i^rcK'ery stores; H. Belton was the first man on the 
ground, and opened a blacksmith shop. S. A. I'rown & Co. established 
the first lumber yard. C. C. Miller was the local manai^er. A. ]\lusse]- 
man, the first furniture store. Palmer (S: King established the first 
bank. Tong & Fetrow erected' a steam flouring mill and T. J. Lindsey 
and H. P. Morgan started in the packing business in the early eighties. 
One year, they salted down 800 hogs. But. tlic licit competition by the 
big establishments, high freights, and a lack of capital flattened out 
both establishments. The loss of half our population, when Oklahoma 
was opened to settlement in 1889. curtailed l)usiness and caused many 
business changes. 

A second paper, the Leon Quill, was established in 1885, by J. L. 
Stratford. O. W. Meacham became the owner and the two papers 
were consolidated. He sold to the original "Indicator" man in 1891. He 
sold the plant to J. B. Adams in 1894. After a few months, Mr. Adams 
moved the paper to Augusta, leaving Leon without a paper. In the 
spring of 1895, the business men of the town prevailed upon the original 
founder to re-establish the "Indicator," which he continued to publish 
until December 2, 1901, when he sold to L. L. Schmucker, who, in turn, 
sold to J- E. Hannon. He sold to C. W. King, whose office and build- 
ing was burned in 191 1 and the town was again without a paper. De- 
cember 7. 191 1. C. \\ Cole establislied the Leon News. He was suc- 
ceeded by J. W. W'atkins in February, 1915. May i. 1915, the present 
editor. T S. Martin, took the helm and is giving us one of the best 
local papers, for a town of this size, in the state. 

Little Walnut township has furnished two Representatives to the 
state legislature: M. A. Palmer, (who has also served as a county com- 
missioner and register of deeds), and D. W. Poe. and one state Senator, 
Fremont Leidy, who also served as U. S. Internal Revenue Collector 
for a term of four years. James D. Anderson was elected sheriff from 
this township; likewise, H. T. Dodson. C. R. Noe was appointed a 
regent of the State Agricultural College, by Governor E. N. Morrill, in 
1895, and served three years ; filling the position of treasurer of that 
institution in 1896. The township has furnished a score or more of 
employees for the Frisco R. R. Co., including George Edgar, claim 
adjuster, and James Dunworth, a passenger conductor. Leon is per- 
haps, the only town of its size in the state with the distinction of hav- 
ing had two full fledged brass bands at one and the same time. It has 
for years held the honor of having the best band in Butler county. 
In 1914. the city voted $10,000 in bonds and had three prospect wells 
drilled to a depth of 1,500 feet. All proved dry. However, there is 
little doubt that gas, or oil, or coal, will be brought to the surface in 
this vicinity within a few years at most. Traces of coal have been 
found in several open wells, as far back as thirty-five years ago. The 
Leon public and high school building ranks with the best for a town 
of its size. 



Logan township was formed A^ay 2, 1874, out of portions of Bloom- 
ington and LTnion townships and comprises all of congressional town- 
ship twenty-eight, range six. The first election was held at the resi- 
dence of T. R. Kalker and the first officers were : S. M. LeMoins, 
trustee ; T. J. Lindsey, treasurer ; C. M. Price, clerk ; B. H. Penn, jus- 
tice of peace ; L. A. Drury, constable. 

Among the early settlers of what is now Logan township were : 
John C, Isaac, Ben and Alonzo Jones ; W. R. Burroughs, J. J. Dedrick, 
W. M. Kelly, Joseph L. Potter, J. W. Shidler, W. A. McCullough, 

A. Lurzadder, J. S. Bogle, J. M. Cotton, the Dunn family, John B. Hol- 
ford, James Sears, A. J. Lightfoot, Minos West, Harry Wait, J. J. Getz, 

B. J. Russel and many others. Very few, if any, except J. J. Getz and 
Mrs. B. J. Russell now own, or reside on, their original claims. Some 
of the best agricultural and pasture land in the county are in this town- 
ship. Many fine stock ranches and farms are located here. Well 
watered and plenty of timber along the streams and at one time was 
the banner portion of the county for the deer, the antelope and wild 
turkey. No railroad enters or crosses the township but coal, oil, gas 
and other minerals are to be found in abundance and its people are 
noted for those qualities that make it one of the most desirable places 
in which to live, so much so that there has never yet been found the 
person who would not rather live there than die anywere else. 






By Dr. John Horner. 

January 6, 1873, a petition 
was presented to the board 
of county commissioners 
asking that a new township 
be formed out of the terri- 
tory comprising" congression- 
al township 24, range 3, east. 
Petition granted and an elec- 
tion ordered at the regular 
time of holding election for 
township officers. The elec- 
tion resulted as follows : C. 




Strong, trustee ; G. 
Sanders, treasurer; G. \\\ Carter, clerk; B. Clouce and H. H. Storms, 
justices of the peace ; E. J. Powell and Charles Barker, constables. 

Milton township, so named after Milton C. Snorf, its first settler, is 
a block of thirty-six square sections, and joins Fairmount township on 
the south, which is situated in the northwest corner of Butler county, 

Milton C. Snorf, the first settler in the township, located on the 
northeast quarter of section thirty-six in 1868. He was followed soon 
after, and in about the order named, by W. G. McCramer, Stark Spen- 
cer, Levi Spencer, George Cornelius, Sylvester Foster, George Sanders, 
W. B. JNIordough, Charles Barker, L. C. Wliite, George Ogden, E. J. 
Powell, Sam Thomas, the Storms, Neiams, Hoss, Harder, Sparks, De 
Talent, Hershley, and many others. 

The Holden post office was located on section eighteen and B. C. 
Leveredge was appointed postmaster in 1871. After a few years 
Thomas H. Storms was appointed postmaster and the office moved to 



his residence on section eight. Later the office was moved to section 
twenty and E. T. Eton was appointed postmaster. He moved the office 
to Brainerd in 1886 where it remained until 1883, when changes in rural 
routes were made and the Brainerd post office discontinued, a post of- 
fice having been established at the town of \Vhitewater near the cross- 
ing of the tracks of the Missouri Pacific and Rock Island railroads. 

Towanda was the nearest post office in 1869 and 1870. The nearest 
railroad was at Emporia, seventy miles away, from which place lumber 
and other necessities were hauled. There was a saw mill at Florence 
and a grist mill beyond Florence, where grain was ground. A trip to 
either place meant two days and a night. On the prairie were many 
antelope, some deer, and plenty prairie chickens. In 1871 Mrs. E. T. 
Eaton taught our first term of school in a small house built on the 
southwest quarter of section twenty, township twenty-four, range three, 
east, now in school district No. 95. Holden school house was built later 
in '71 on the same section. In this school house the Holden Literary 
Society held its meetings for years. The Holden "Times," a product 
of this society, was read at each meeting. In the Times were discussed 
farm, home, and literary topics. It also had a local column that kept 
the boys guessing who would come next. 

Most of the land in Milton township was occupied by homemakers 
about 1870 and '71, and a battle for existence was on — the transforma- 
tion of the prairie soil to a seed-bed. This required much time but will- 
ing hands guided the ploAv. 

The first township officers were (i. P. Xeiman, justice of the peace; 
E. T. Eeaton, constable ; George Carter, clerk. School districts were laid 
off in blocks of two by three miles, on which school houses were erected. 
Teachers were paid about twenty dollars per month. These school 
houses were used for many purposes, meetings. Sabbath school, preach- 
ing, elections, secret socities, concerts, etc. 

But, Work! More Work! Better Work! was the slogan and the 
soil yielded fair crops of corn and oats. Spring wheat was first tried 
but was not a success, the chinch-bug being long on that variety of 
wheat. Fall wheat was then tried with better success. Before the herd 
law was enacted, herds of cattle grazed over the prairie in the summer, 
and hay was put up where shelter and water could be had they were 
wintered and rounded up occasionally. These cattle (Texas) knew 
nothing of corn and were put on the market as "grass fed stock." One 
^'ery severe winter in the early seventies hay was put up late on sections 
thirty and thirty-one in this township, and a large bunch of rather poor 
cattle placed there to winter. The weather became bad, the ground 
froze, snow covered the earth and the north winds were blizzardly. 
Many of these cattle died during the winter and the following spring. 
Incidents of this kind taught the farmer and stock raiser that a better 
way of caring for the cattle was necessary if profit was to be derived 
from this industry, and so the native cattle were bred up to a better 



Standard, pastured during- the summer, and fed at home on good hay, 
fodder, grain it, etc. during the winter. This opened the way for the 
dairy with a side profit on cream and cheese, and a solid foundation for 
better cattle and more hogs. 

Grasshoppers came in 1874 and destroyed the crops and cleaned 
up nearly all vegetation, even tobacco plants, red peppers, etc. People 
discouraged? Well, naw ! Need any help? Naw ! "Got any?" "Any?" 
"Oh, yes, got friends back East, guess can pull through." A carload of 
friendship did come and was thankfully received, seed corn especially. 
Yes, many were glad to get the seed corn and leave a dollar in its place. 
The debt was cancelled in 1889 when Kansas sent East a whole train 
load of friendship, for the needy poor. In the spring of '75 the eggs 

SnlTA Hiarh School Bv 


hatched out and the ground was thickly covered with young hoppers but 
heavy and frequent rains drowned a great many and those left departed 
when their wings developed, not, however, until much of the earh Av ' 
ed corn was destroyed. Discouraged? No. Fall wheat lookc 
the team and old bossy had lived on it all winter, ana hogs h; 
away or sold for anything one could get for them, 
planting; oats were looking good. May — everythi'' 
ing and looking fine. June — oats rank, corn boon 
well filled and taking on the golden colc^r. W' 
done. The big hail storm of 1875 did the work a 
and hedges were stripped of their foliage, grass 
dows broken, loose stock injured, prairie chicken 

; heads 


well. Trees 

iwed down, win- 

~^ i ritobits killed. A 



sycamore board was taken up by the wind from sections 22-24-3 ^"^ 
found near the town of Burns. Discouraged now? Nixey. Came to 
Milton tonship to get a home and intend to stay. 

In June, '']2, a heavy wind storm did considerable damage, wreck- 
ing a few small buildings; corn was blown down very badly but next 
day the wind blew quite strong from the opposite direction which 
straightened the corn, whereupon Neighbor S. remarked: "This is the 
darndest country I ever sa^v ; the Lord knocks the corn down one day 
and sets it up the next." 

In '']() a colony of Prussian Menonites located in the township, built 
large houses and barns and put out orchards, etc. They are good farm- 
ers. They raise fine horses and cattle. Their word is as good as their 
bond, and they believe in settling their own affairs without resorting 
to law. About this time quite a number of Swiss Menonite families 
located in this township and vicinity. Each of the above maintained a 
church of their own, services being conducted in their native tongue. 
All of these people are sincerely devoted to their church and are good 
neighbors, upright citizens, and have large families of native born Amer- 
ican children. 

The early settler found that about all of the timber land and some 
of the choicest bottom land was owned by non-residents. This land was 
known as Potwin land, Lawrence land, railroad land, etc. The timber 
on this land made it possible for the early settler to live on this prairie 
until the railroads were built across this portion of Kansas, upon which 
coal and other necessities could be brought in. The loss of timber to the 
owners of the land was a gain in the end, as the price of their land was 
increased by the development of the township. 

Lord Harrison, an English subject, owned much land in Alilton 
township. Houses of a like pattern were placed on each quarter section 
and rented or leased out on a rental basis. These renters suffered all the 
hardships and many of the inconveniences of the real homesteader. 
Some of this land has been sold to real settlers. Lord Scully also owned 
land in Milton township. This land was leased for cash, the lessee pay- 
ing taxes. The object in making this statement is to show that if this 
land had been owned by individuals it would have been improved as 
much as adjoining farms, thereby improving the appearance of the town- 
ship cis well as adding value to these farms and evening up taxation. 

The early settler was not a grumbler. If things did not come his 
way he went after them. He would exchange work with some one if he 
iie-^^g^ help. He would take his team and haul lumber or other freight 
from tnc „g^j-gg^ railroad if he needed food for himself and family. He 
was a woiiV,gj.^ ^^^ ^ kicker. The loss of a horse or team would ruin a 
mans P^^^P^^^^ts of making a home or supporting his ia.m[\y. Horses 
were usua y P\i^g|-g(j ^^^ ^^ the prairie at night and it was easy for a 
person so i>p ^ ^^ untie a horse and be miles away by daylight. This 
kmd ot oss ^ ^^ frequent and annoying that the settlers formed a 


■/ D 

society for their protection. A few oi the thieves were caught and tried 
and the rest of them departed. That put a quietus on liorse steaHng for 
some time. With all his work, trials, and tribulations, the settler took 
time to attend surprise parties, concerts, and h^iurth of July celebra- 
tions. The first Fourth of July celebration was held on the west branch, 
of the Whitewater on G. P. and I. 11. Xeiman's place in 1871. The usual 
program of patriotic songs, picnic dinner and dance was observed. 

In forty-five years there has been no failure of wheat crops, though 
some of the crops were damaged by chinch bugs, 'ihc Hessian fly has 
also done considerable damage, but by sowing late and not on stubble 
ground, there is little fear from the fly. Corn failed in 1874, 1901 and 
1913 but in 1S89 Kansas had a bumper corn cro]). 

The first child l)orn in Milton township was Edgar 15. llrumback. 


December 6, 1870. The first death, a child of Harley Patterson, was in 
the winter of 1870. 

In 1885, the McPherson branch of the Missouri Pacific came through 
this township. A station was located near the center of the township and 
the tow^n of Brainerd was quickly built up and did a thriving business 
until about 1888. The Rock Island railroad came through the western 
edge of the township and located a station and built a depot at the junc- 
tion of the roads, then the Missouri Pacific, put up a depot and the 
town of Whitewater was laid off at the junction. Chester Smith moved 
his house from Annelly to Whitewater in January. 1888. This was the 
first house in AVhitewater. Two more houses were moved in from An- 
nelly. About this time the town of P)rainerd was put on wheels and 


about thirty-five lousiness houses and residences were moved in to 
Whitewater. I. H. Xeimam was appointed postmaster; S. L. Matter, 
deputy postmaster, and the infant, Miss Whitewater, stepped upon the 
stage of action with her best bow. 

"Whitewater Independent." — In a reminiscent way one's thoughts 
occasionally return to the "old times," especially so is it of your first 
home. Remembrance of it may be somewhat clouded, but there comes 
to you some recollections that are vivid and lasting. This metropolis 
of northwest Butler county, at the intersection of the Rock Island and 
Missouri Pacific railroads, and platted as the town of Whitewater by 
the Golden Belt Town Co., has undergone the hardships of a small 
town, and now taken its place as a city of importance and a business 
center. Whitewater has always been a city in many ways, and its citi- 
zens have that characteristic push and energy that builds cities. Their 
brain, their brawn, their pride and enthusiasm is well marked and a vis- 
itor within our gates can only sav for us words of praise for the past and 
well wishes for the future. And incentive to either build or help build 
the best town in these parts has been that its location, surrounding 
territory and natural advantages enjoyed by few of the later built cities, 
gives it the prestige, and with a vim, its citizens, shoulder to shoulder, 
push and don't pull. Cities builded by them are the ones that grow. As 
a part of the history of this city we may start from so far back as 1885, 
when the Missouri Pacific railroad was builded. The Rock Island sur- 
vev was made through here the next year, and in August, '87, the first 
trains were run. In August, '87, Whitewater had two general stores 
and a blacksmith shop. The first to start business here were: G. H. 
Otte, groceries ; S. L. Motter, groceries ; John Eilert, general merchan- 
dise ; C. H. Bruhn, blacksmith; M. M. Bishop, hotel. Mary Neiman was 
teacher of the first school. 

The first newspaper was the "Herald," and its first editor was Al 
M. Hendee. Before this it was known as the Brainerd "Sun," edited 
first by Brumback and McCann, and was moved later by Mr. Morrison 
to this city in 1889 and the business has grown from a small country 
office to one of the largest enterprises in the city, under its present man- 
agement. The first bank was moved here from Brainerd in 1889. Its 
officers wxre : A. H. McLain, president; A. H. McLain. Jr., vice presi- 
dent; E. S. McLain. cashier. The first postmaster in Whitewater was 
I. H. Neiman in his own building, occupied by S. L. Motter as general 
store, who was assistant postmaster under him. ^Irs. Xellie M. Godfrey, 
in the building now occupied by the "Independent," was second. The 
next was H. W. I^ailey.'cditor of the "Tribune" at that time. Next was 
G. W. Penner, followed by C. H. Otte, the present incumbent. To date 
there have been two Democrats and three Republicans in the postal 
service as postmasters. The first mail route on the rural free delivery 
was established in 1902. In June, Isaac Neiman was the first carrier on 
the route, with his father as substitute. The route is north and east. 



The present carrier is T. J. Powell and J. T. Welsh as substitute. The 
first carrier on route Xo. 2 was George Corfman. 

In early days Whitewater had a United States male carrier from the 
Rock Island depot while the postoffice was out of the limit. He was O. C. 
Sha}'. The Missouri Pacific never had one, other than its agent. The 
Rock Island is now within the limits. The first school directors of But- 
ler and Harvey county district No. 95 were : John Eilerts, Joseph 
Weatherby, and Chester Smith. Under their term of office the present 
school house was built. \\'ert and Froese were the contractors. The 
first grain buyers were : E. T. Burns on the Missouri Pacific and W. 
A. Sterling and brother on the Rock Island. The first meeting of the 
council was held in the school house. The incorporation of the city took 
place in 1889. The first ma}or was G. H. Otte. Councilmen were J. 
Weatherby, G. G. Cooms, H. H. \\>achman, Fred Breising and E. T. 


Burns. The first city marshal was \\ m. Xewbury. The board of can- 
vassers for this first election were : S. L. Motter, W. F. Wakefield and 
E. L. Neal. The first brick yard was operated by L. Fessler of Xewton 
with George Brazee as foreman. The first brick building was built by 
G. A\^ Penner and its first occupants were Penner and Motter with a 
stock of general merchandise. This building was built of A\']iitewater 

Whitewater has had only six fires of any importance in its nearly 
twenty years of existence. The first was the barn of G. FI. Roach. The 
others were barns also and were but little loss. 

The waterworks system was begun by McLains, the bankers. It 
was built by John E. Ford of Xewton. The first location of the post- 
office was in the building now owned and occupied by the 'Tndepend- 


ent." The first pastor of the Reformed Church was D. B. Shuey and of 
the Lutheran, H. Acker. The first church parsonage of which White- 
water has two, was purchased by the Lutherans. The other was built 
by the German Reformed. The first elevator was built by E. T. Burns 
in 1889 near the Missouri Pacific tracks on South Main. It was later 
moved and consolidated with the: Whitewater Mill and Elevator Co., 
of which he is a member. Mr. Burns was also the first coal dealer in 
Whitewater. The first drug stores were owned by E. S. Raymond, from 
Brainerd, and G. H. Otte, from Annelly, in '89. The first resident car- 
penter was Joseph W^eatherby of Annelly. The first secret order was 
the Independent Order Odd Fellows, in 1889. Its first meeting was in 
Eilert's, now Huguenin's Hall. The other orders represented here are 
the Masons, Ancient Order United Workmen, Modern Woodman and 
Grand Army of the Republic. The first ladies' order was the Re- 
bekahs, the other the Woman's Relief Corps. The first furniture dealer 
was Mr. Henry Heigerd, who occupied the north room of the Smith 
building which was the first store building moved from Annelly. The 
first retired farmer to move to tow^n was C. Miller. Many have come 
since. The first butcher shop w^as started by Fred Breising. The first 
barber was O. E. McDowell. He was also the first painter here. The 
first lawyer was Peter E. Ashenfelter. Within the limits of AVhitewater 
are few people who do not try to make it a l:>etter place to live in socially 
and morally. The morals of this community compare favorably with 
the best — none better while there are many worse. 


By W. O. Moore. 

Murdock township, comprising the territory known as township 
25, range 3, east of the principal meridian, was organized in 
March, 1873. and an election was ordered for township officers at the 
general election in April. Voting place 'to be at school house in district 
25. The following officers were elected: Wm. Spencer, trustee; W. 
Goodale, treasurer; J. N. Shibles, clerk; Reuben Moore and B. F. Hess, 
justices of the peace; B. E. Doyle and A. G. Davis, constables. 

The township was named for the late Thomas Benton Murdock. 
Anthony G. Davis, now a resident of Benton, was, I believe, the first 
settler in what is now Murdock township. Mr. Davis came to Butlei 
county in 1857. In the year 1868 he had a little store in the southwest 
corner of Murdock township. Goods were hauled in those days with 
teams from as far as Topeka ; and the county abounded in Indians and 
buffalo. In 1859 came Mr. Gillian, a widower, bringing one son and 
three daughters. The mother of the girls, his second wife, was part 
Cherokee Indian. All these have gone to their reward, except possibly 
one daughter. In 1862 came the Atkison brothers, Benjamin, now living 


in Chautauqua Springs, Samuel, hing- now at Independence, and 
Stephen, dead. About the same time came the Kelly brothers. Jim, the 
oldest, is now in an old soldiers' home in California. Abe Kelly is de- 
ceased. Charley's whereabouts are unknown. John Kelly was drowned 
in 1867 while swimming- the Whitewater river about four miles south of 
Whitewater City. In 1866 came John Folk. In the spring- of 1868 
Reuben Moore, father of the writer, came to the county, buying for one 
hundred dollars a quarter section of homestead land on the Whitewater 
and on which stood down by the creek a little log house. That summer 
and fall buffalo were hunted for winter meat out near the present loca- 
tion of Wichita. Sometimes a deer, or an antelope and often a wild tur- 
key, was killed. Failing these, a fat raccoon or .opossum would answer 
for a roast and always there were prairie chickens, thousands of them, 
and I have counted nineteen antelope in one bunch on the divide be- 
tween the A\'hitewater and the West Branch. 

In 1870 the Whitewater overflowed its banks. We left the little log 
cabin about ten o'clock one night and the next morning the water was 
half way to its roof. Then father decided it was time to build on higher 
ground. Lumber was brought from Emporia, and for the times, a very 
fine house was built, it being one and one-half stories high. The follow- 
ing summer the young people decided that a dance, then the popular 
amusement, must be given at the house. The time arrived, and most of 
the day it rained, but a large crowd gathered notwithstanding, again it 
rained, it rained until daylight and until daylight we danced. .\t day- 
break a trip was made to the creek. It was bank full. As nearly all the 
guests must cross the creek to get to their home, all returned to the 
house. The following night the dance was continued and all stayed 
another night. The girls occupied "the upstairs and the boys the down- 
stairs. The next morning the creek was still nearly bank full. A little 
lumber having been left from the building a canoe was made with which 
the girls were to be taken across the creek. Reuben Moore and his 
brother, Carl, took their places in the boat and started off a high bank. 
When they had gone about two hundred yards, a swift current was en- 
countered, the boat capsized and the boys had a struggle to swim back 
to shore. In this catastrophe Reuben lost his pocket book and fifteen 
dollars. That night the tired crowd retired al:)Out midnight, but some 
of the boys wakening later, called the fiddler, the music began at "Bal- 
ance all," down came the girls and another round was had. This was 
always called the "protracted dance." 

Other early settlers of Murdock township are : Edwin Hall, 1868. 
deceased ; William Paul, 1869, deceased, 1873 ; Leonard Shafer. 1868. 
Old Mr. Dorsey and family, Mr. Blankenship, son-in-law of Dorsey and 
Charles Mornhenwig, all came in 1869. John Miller, Henry Dohren, 
Thomas Ohlsen. Dave Kehl. Albert and Charley Diemart. Robert Tay- 
lor, Joseph Claypool, Henry Terbush and the Goodales all came in 1870. 
A. L. Drake, Isaac Curtin, Jim Shibles, 1871 ; Bill Spencer and Barney 


Doyle, 1871 ; ^^'illiam McCraner, who came in 1870, locating in Milton 
township, just outside of Murdock, was the first postmaster of the Cari- 
bou postoffice. ^^'m. McCraner, Jr. and myself made many a boast of 
how much prairie we could "break" with four or five yoke of oxen. 

In the winter of 1869 a little school house was built by the people 
of the township. This was a little log" house and like most of the other 
log houses, had a floor made of logs which had been split in the middle, 
and dressed a little with an ax. These were called puncheon floors. The 
seats were of the same material, having holes bored in with an auger 
and round pins or sticks driven in for legs. The writing desks were 
made in the same fashion, the pins being driven into the wall. O. W. 
Belt was the first teacher, a three months summer term. Charles Noe, 
now of Leon, was the teacher the next term. Some of us will always 
remember Charley as 'twas from him we received our schooling. 

In the spring of 1868 an Indian scare took all of us to El Dorado, 
where we stayed two or three days and returned to our homes. Bill 
Avery said of this occasion, that when he had gotten back home every- 
thing seemed so peaceful and quiet he was ashamed to look his cows in 
the face. 

Rev. Isaac Mooney, "Father Mooney," as we always called him, 
for he was certainly a gospel father to us all, was the first man to preach 
in the vicinity. He rode from Towanda on horseback. Each Sunday, 
without fail, he came. Very few to attend at the start, no one to help 
with the singing. Some would come to remain on the outside, these 
being especially the cowboys, their revolvers buckeled around them and 
seemingly more afraid of the preacher than of a herd of buffalo. But in 
time all finally went inside. Father Mooney continued coming until a 
larger and better school house was built, and finally a strong church 
was organized. He was a faithful servant of the Lord and his influence 
for good is still felt in this community today. 

In my time here I have heard young men from the East say they 
would not stay if given the whole county. I have heard the early set- 
tlers say the land would be stock range forever, and time spent in try- 
ing to farm these prairies was wasted. But these mistaken opinions are 
evidenced by the prosperous farmers and fertile farms of this valley. 
Often my mind goes back to the '6o's when everyone was a friend, when 
no selfishness was among us, and those seem the best days of my life. 


By J. F. Glendenning. 

Pleasant township was organized March 11, 1873, out of the terri- 
tory known as tov/nship twenty-eight, range three. Election 
ordered held at the usual time of holding election and voting 
place to be at the residence of Thomas McKnight. The following town- 


ship officers were elected: A. H. Dunlap, trustee; J. E. Milton, treas- 
urer; E. T- Pyle, clerk; X. W. Runnells and H. G. Russell, justices of the 
peace ; fames Stroup and Sam Allen, constables. 

In July, 1871, the writer, with another young man by the name of 
Byron McKinney, conceived the idea of adventure ; so we thought we 
would take Horace Greeley's advice, "Go west, young man, and grow up 
with the country," so we took the prairie schooner for Kansas. 

Traveling at our leisure and enjoying life to its fullest extent (as we 
then thought) for we were having a picnic every day until we arrived 
at a little town by the name of Bazaar, in Chase county, Kansas. Bazaar 
was located on a creek called Rock Creek which was at flood tide when 
we arrived there, so we did not have a picnic but a regular, or irregular, 
camp meeting. The camp ground was about all occupied by fifteen 
or twenty other wagons, emigrants and freighters. So we located in the 
suburbs of Schooner City for about three days or till the water ran down 
so we could resume our journey, and as we wanted to be fully satisfied 
before locating we travelled over several counties, including Butler, 
Sedgwick, Sumner, Cowley, Willson, Howard and Greenwood ; and not 
finding any place as enchanting as Butler county, so we again pulled for 
Butler and feeling sure we had found the promised land and as we were 
a little particular in our selection of a place for a home and Avanting a 
garden spot of that most beautiful county we located in Pleasant town- 
ship. The name is significant of the township and also of the early set- 
tlers of the township as they were kindly, neighborly, energetic and un- 
sophisticated and as memory is a little treacherous after a lapse of forty- 
five years, I will perhaps not be able to give many of the things that 
transpired or the names of many of the people, which I regret very 

The first man we met in Pleasant was Henry Freeman, and as we 
camped by a little creek for dinner and also joining Mr. Freeman's corn 
field, he perhaps thought we would want some corn to feed our horses, 
so he came down to our camp and sure we did buy a bushel of corn from 
him for one quarter of a dollar. Mr. Freeman was a Union soldier dur- 
ing the Civil war (if there is anything as civil war) and was also a man 
of Roosevelt type, as he reared a family of ten children who are all do- 
ing well. One of the boys, Prof. Harvey Freeman, is holding a good 
position in the Commercial College in Wichita, Kansas. And one of 
the girls, Miss Lizzy Freeman, was married to Byron McKinney. She 
was a splendid wife to Mr. McKinney and sure he was one of the best 
men I ever knew, as we lived on adjoining farms for twenty years. I 
knew him to be a true friend. He departed this life about ten years ago 
and his widow lives in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Freeman has gone, as most 
of the old settlers have ; he died a few years ago. 

After looking over the country that afternoon we camped for the 
night at Mr. Lane's, father of George Lane, ex-clerk of the district Court 
of Butler countv. George is now a resident of Los Angeles, California. 


One daughter, Mrs. Alice Baker, lives in Bruno township, Butler county. 
Mr. and Mrs. Lane are both dead and gone to try the realities of that 
happy home that awaits the just and upright in heart. The next man we 
met was Ephraim Yeager, who had located some six weeks earlier and 
had just built a nice frame house to shelter his wife and two baby girls 
from the storms that might come ; but there was one storm came that 
nothing combustable has ever yet withstood. That was the prairie fire 
which burned his house with all its contents and about three hundred 
dollars in cash. That fire occurred about the time (October 7, 8, and 9,) 
of the great Chicago fire, but this fire started from other cause than the 
cow kicking the lamp over, but it surely devastated the country, burning 
houses, stables, cows, horses, wagons, hay, etc. It did not burn any 
barns, buggies, or fine carriages; as they were at that time immune to" 
fire in that part of Kansas. Mr. Yeager was an old Indian fighter in 
Oregon and California and also a veteran of the Union army. Mr. and 
Mrs. Yeager are both dead, leaving a nice interesting family of six chil- 
dren, most of whom live on or near the old homestead. I think it was 
in this fire that a man by the name of Herod lost his life. He was on his 
way to his claim when overtaken by the fire. His clothes were almost 
burned off him 1)ut he managed to reach Eight Mile Creek, near where 
]Mr. Jones, the father of Marion Jones, lived — they took care of him the 
best they could but he died four days later. He was a school teacher. 

In order to show you the tenacity that possessed 'the early settlers, 
I will relate what came under our observation on our first trip over the 
township. As we approached the little creek of Eight Mile we discov- 
ered an open shd, and wishing to cross the creek and get over to the 
shed, were barred by the marshy ground, so one of us walked over and 
there found a young man (a bachelor, of course) lying there with a 
broken leg, and with not a murmur of complaint and in asking and in- 
sisting that we should do something for him, he said that Dr. Hill had 
been there and reduced the fracture and some of his near neighbors 
were caring for him ; I believe his name was Osborn. 

It is impossible at this writing to give all the early settlers' names 
as only those that I was best acquainted with do I remember. I hope 
no one will feel slighted or offended if they fail to see their names here, 
for I would not wound the feelings of one of those brave hearts that en- 
dured the hardships and suffered the privations of frontier life. 

There was the very interesting family of A. H. Dunlap, and as they 
were all musicians they organized an orchestra and gave us splendid 
music at our literary society at Old Harmony school house, which was 
destroyed by cyclone on the last day of March, 1892. L. S. Dunlap was 
trustee of the township for several years and surely made a splendid 
officer. Rev. A. H. and Mrs. Dunlaphave long since departed this life 
and we hope and trust they occupy mansions above. And there was 
John Dunlap and his very estimable wife, who took a prominent part in 
things to make a better community. 



There on llie l)anks of the beautiful stream of Four Mile Creek 
resided the families of Nathan Hide and the Russells. The Russells 
p-irls were some of Butler county's best teachers. There also lived John 
Q. Chase who was trustee for several years and John Kibby, the great 
cattle king of the township. 

I thought I had got so far from home that 1 would not see any one 
that I had known but I had just got located and passing a house or 
rather a hay shed I met a man that had freighted for us in Iowa and I 
said ''Hello, Mr. Snook," and he looked at me in great surprise, and 
said, "It's Frank." I said "Yes, but I am surprised to see you here;" he 
said that he could not make a living on those poor hills north, so he 
had to move and he said. "By golly, I've found the garden spot of earth," 
and he also believed in that command in the Scripture to Adam and Eve, 
"Multiply and replenish the earth." Mr. and Mrs. Snook are long since 
dead, and their ten children are scattered. 

The name that will perhaps live longer in the minds and hearts of 
the good people of Pleasant township is Theodore McKnight, as he was 
always noted for his good words and works ; and as he was left to travel 
the road toward the setting sun alone, he made his home with his daugh- 
er, Mrs. Nathan Chance of Augusta, one of the estimable ladies and 
strong characters for purity and uprightness of Augusta. One of his 
sons, Thomas McKnight. was one of the rustlers of Pleasant township 
and a veteran soldier of the Union army, with his energy and indomita- 
ble will, succeeded in building a fine home. W. A. McKnight, another 
son, was sure one of the strong men of the township and was as faithful 
a friend as it ever was my pleasure to meet. If any one had told me 
that W. A. McKnight had done a mean act, I would not have believed 
it. His daughter, Ola, was married to Will Cummings, Jr., who had 
made a success in life and by his uprightness of character has won the 
confidence and esteem of the entire community. 

Another one of the substantial citizens was Joe Hall, and Mrs. Hall 
was his equal in stability of character, for they are sure as true as steel 
and as faithful in performing their life work as the Lord wanted them 
to be. Joe was a veteran in the Union army and was wounded in bat- 
tle. They are spending their declining years in a nice home in Rose Hill; 
and we hope and trust that their lives w^ill be fraught with all the joy 
and happiness that is man's lot to receive here on earth. T. F. Hall was 
another of the substantial citizens and his wife, a very estimable lady, 
was the daughter of Captain Webb, and sister of U. S. \\'ebb, now at- 
torney general of California. 

There was the Webb Reynolds family who were always ready to 
help in every movement for the bettering of the community in which 
they lived and I believe they really enjoyed frontier life, as they seemed 
so cheerful and happy at all times. The Matt Skinner family was num- 
bered with our dearest friends who helped make Pleasant township and 
also Butler countv. as Mrs. Skinner was one of lUitler's best school 


teachers. The William Cummings family were our near neighbors and 
dear friends and as they believed in preparedness they raised a family 
of two girls and seven boys, two of whom are now in the front ranks 
fighting- for King Emmanuel. And there was the William Simmons fam- 
ily who enjoyed in building a nice home of their own in the land of 
peace and quiet. And there was another man that was true to the prin- 
ciples of democracy and that was the dear old boy, Cale John, one of ni}- 
substantial friends. There are many others, that I would like to tell you 
of their good qualities and true friendship, but I must bring this to a 
close by mentioning a few names of the early settlers. There were the 
Billows, Prays, Pyles, Dinnets and Johnstons, and a man by the name of 
Marion Franklin who located in what is now Pleasant township in 1869. 

I haven't told any funny stores as I thought I would, for when my 
mind was carried back to those happy days and then down to the present 
time, it rather saddens my heart. I don't like to live too much in the 
past, as they say when a person begins to live in the past, he is getting 
old and as I expect to stay young for years I will try to live in the pres- 
ent and enjoy this life with a glad heart and look to the future for a 
happ}' home where there will be no more good-byes said, and we will 
never groAv old. The names given here and many more are among the 
men and women that faced the trials of frontier life and made the desert 
bloom as the rose. The dark day of the grasshopper raid I shall leave 
for a more able writer to describe. 

AVishing you all a happy life here and a happier future, I bid you 
ffood-bye. I am vour friend. 


By C. V. Cain. 

After the passing of forty-six years, that being the time I came to 
the township, it will be little wonder if many liappenings of importance 
at that time have not gone from my memory, but to w^rite up the sayings 
and doings of these pioneers, one must be in a reminiscent mood to make 
it of interest to any, but those that had part and parcel at that time, and 
also this little sketch must include the names of many who were resi- 
dents of other parts of the county outside of Plum Grove. These out- 
siders came into our social life, as well as the commercial or business life 
of the community. 

The largest immigration to this part of Kansas was in 1870. The 
newcomers that year and 1871 had their time all taken up w^ith preparing 
a place to live, without devoting their time to sociability. Consequently, 
it was in 1872 before they began to move around and get acquainted 
with their neighbors, wdiich they did by attending literary societies at 
the different school houses and one in particular at the Eaton school in 
Milton township wdiich was largely attended by George, Howard and 


Arthur Neiman, Ed Eaton, W. J. McFrancis, E. B. Brainard, John and 
Mrs. Horner, C. P. Strong, and so many others from eight to ten miles 
away their names I do not now recalL Their debates were certainly in- 
teresting and there Avas always an editor and a paper that was full of 
jokes at the expense of the attendants, but I recall but one such ; C. P. 
Strong had unusually large ears. One of the papers had this little squib : 
"If all flesh is grass, what a pile of hay Strong's ears ought to make." 
Of course it brought down the house. Not only the Eaton school house 
but the Wilcox school house in Clifford held their debates and spelling 
schools. Settlers in those days went a long distance to church and Sun- 
day school ; among the church and Sunday school workers were Daniel 
M. Elder, Jacob Holderman, Joseph B. Morton, ]\Irs. L. B. Cain, Mrs. I. 
Howe and many others. 

Another line of amusement that was popular with the early settlers 
were the "surprise parties." They would gather at some neighbor's, 
and a neisfhbor was anyone livins: within fifteen miles. Evervone was 
expected to bring a basket of provisions, and sometimes in these baskets 
there would be some huge sell in the shape of sawdust pie, cake sea- 
soned with salt in place of sugar, coffee spiced up with pepper. One 
night there was a large, nice looking cake brought in which there was 
said to be a ring, \^'hen it was cut and divided around a young lady 
had the piece with a small harness ring. There were several good sing- 
ers in the country and they formed a singing class, and there were some 
very fine singers. M. S. Eddy and brother-in-law. Will Power, were as 
fine bass and tenor as you could find anywhere. The Ketchum brothers, 
Ed and Hoyt, were also' good. Mrs. W. H. Randall was generally the 
musician that accompanied. Prof. F. C. Buck, of Augusta, often at- 
tended the meetings of the musical crowd in their vicinity. 

I have omitted mentioning some of the early settlers in the town- 
ship who did not secure and occupy homesteads. Among the first was 
Weightman E. Joseph and four sons, William I., James, Moses N. and 
Sidney S. The father came in 1871, also William I., and bought a large 
tract of the best land in the Whitewater valley. They were among the 
most reliable and substantial citizens of this township and their children 
are following in the footsteps of their fathers. The Josephs were from 
West Virginia. M. D. L. Kimberlin also came in 1871 from Kentucky. 
He bought land on the east branch of the Whitewater and improved 
it and made a home for four boys and that many girls, and three of his 
sons are still on the home place and on land they have since bought. 
A history of the early settlers of Plum Grove would not be complete 
without special mention of A/[rs. Charles Coppins. She filled the place 
of nurse for any and all of the sick in this section. No night was so 
dark or the weather too hot or too cold or distance too great that ^Mrs. 
Coppins would not go to the relief of those that were sick and in dis- 
tress. It was the same whether the sick lived in a dugout or in the 
best house in the land, oftentimes going to El Dorado to care for the 


sick. The nearest doctors at that time was one living near the north 
hne of the county and one at El Dorado. I have known Dr. McKenzie 
to leave El Dorado, come to my house, and from there drive to Cole 
Creek and on to the head of Walnut and on around to El Dorado, mak- 
ing a circuit of nearly one hundred miles in one drive. The people, 
in this like all newly settled countries, were afflicted with chills and 
fever. There was not much typhoid, but occasionally a case of it. 

In those days there were no buggies or carriages in the country. 
In the towns the livery stables kept both, but I only knew of one buggy 
and one spring wagon in all the northwest Butler county. Before 1870, 
the settlers have told, there was no money in circulation, and in talking 
with one of the old pioneers who came in 1857, ^""^ said coon skins, 
meaning furs, and buffalo hides and tallow were legal tender. The men 
would go on a buffalo hunt in the fall when the buffalo were fat and 
kill and skin and save the tallow until a wagon load was saved, and 
then go to Leavenworth or Westport, Missouri, and trade it for supples 
for the family. At that time these times were the nearest places to 
market their furs, etc. In 1870 the nearest railroad point was Emporia, 
which was sixty-five miles from Plum Grove. The roads at that time 
were located across the prairies in every direction ; to get any place 
that you wanted to go, you would have to know the direction from 
where you were and follov/ the road leading in that direction, as there 
were no guide boards and you were not liable to meet any person that 
could direct you. 

About the year 1876, there were two Mennonite boys that had been 
to El Dorado. They were twins, about twenty years old, and their 
name was Dick. They lived near where Elbing now is. On tlieir way 
home there was a big storm coming up from the north. The lightning 
struck the prairie grass right near and set it on fire. It scared the boys 
so much that they drove to my house and wanted to stay all night. In 
those days a traveler was never turned away. They stayed, but the rain 
did not reach my house ; the cloud rained out on the head of White- 
water. In the morning they hitched up and started from my place to 
their home. When they drove into the ford on the Whitewater they 
did not think of the creek being up and the team, wagon and all were 
washed down the stream and the boys were drowned. The body of one 
was found a few rods below the ford, the other about a half mile below. 

In the early days there were people who came to this section who 
afterward were prominent and widely known. I will recall one, Fred 
Remington, who became a great painter and cartoonist, so much so that 
he gained a national reputation for his paintings of cowboy, Indian and 
scenes of the Wild and Wooley West. They were admired by every- 
one who was acquainted with these characters, for they were so life- 
like and natural. This sketch would be incomplete without mentioning 
the early day preachers. Of the Presbyterians there were Rev. Stryker, 
of El Dorado; Rev. E. J. Stewart, of Fairmount ; Rev. A. H. Lackey, 


of Peabody; the Campbellites, Rev. I. Mooney, of Tovvanda; Rev. Kin- 
ney, of Fairview, and Rev. I. J. Curtis, of Murdock. The Methodists were 
represented by Rev. F. H. Martin, of West Branch of Whitewater, and 
Rev. S. L. Roberts, of Clifford. 

The women who came to this country in the early settlement cer- 
tainly deserve more than a passing mention in this history of Butler 
county, more especially those who came in the sixties and before. Set- 
tlers at that time were very scattering. Sometimes it would be a dis- 
tance of four miles or more to the nearest neighbor. The men of the 
families sometimes would go away for supplies and be away for two or 
three weeks before they could return. At that time bands of Indians 
were occasionally roaming over the prairies and wherever there was a 
house they were sure to visit. Stop and think now of the feelings of a 
woman alone, or perhaps with her little children, with no white person 
within miles to come to her rescue if those Indians were disposed to be 
treacherous and cruel. I have in mind now two of those pioneer women, 
Mrs. W. H. Avery, who lived at least four miles from the nearest neigh- 
bor, and Mrs. Amos Adams. Their lives during those times were cer- 
tainl}' anything but pleasant. 

I must mention the pioneer school teachers, for what would a 
civilized settlement be without them? I recall the names of two, Jane 
AA^entworth and Fannie Hull Wilson. Miss Wentworth taught school 
in diffrent places in the county during the sixties, at El Dorado, on the 
west branch of AA^alnut and other places. Fannie Hull Wilson taught 
many different schools in the county. For several years she taught the 
Blue Mound school, and I venture to say there is not a county school 
in the count}^ graduated as many, that after became school teachers, 
as that school. All four of the children in the Lobdell family were 
teachers, Charles, Fred, Adda and Myrtle, and they were successful 
teachers with no other preparation than the district school that Mrs. 
Wilson taught. Besides the Lobdells, there were two from the Ashen- 
felter family and the three Boersnia sisters and others that I do not 
now remember. 

Early Settlement.^What is now Plum Grove township received 
its first settlers in the spring of 1857, when a colony of people from 
Douglass county, Kansas, settled along the Whitewater River at the 
ford on the old California Trail, which started at Fort Smith, Arkansas, 
and united with the Santa Fe Trail near Hutchinson. This colony sur- 
veyed and platted a town which they called Whitewater City and many 
of the stakes were still in the ground in the spring of 1870. They built 
several houses, mostly of logs, which were afterwards torn down and 
moved to the claims of the later settlers along the Whitewater and its 
tributaries, as all the original settlers left during the year of the great 
drought, which was in i860. The first man to make a permanent set- 
tlement in the township was Joseph H. Adams, who originally came 
from Illinois and located on the Whitewater, one mile southwest of the 


present city of Potwin, in the spring of i860, and lived there until fall, 
when he moved to Whitew^a|:er City, living there until the next spring, 
when he mo\'ed to the northeast (juarter of section 7, where he lived 
until his death in October, 1875. Mr. Adams' wife died in 1868, and 
he was again married to Mrs. Margaret Pitzer, of Chase county, Kan- 
sas. After the death of Mr. Adams, Mrs. Adams was married to M. 
S. Bond in 1879. In 191 1 Mrs. Bond died. Mr. Adams had three sons, 
one of whom, J. C. Adams, homesteaded the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 19, Plum Grove township, and he is still the owner of it, but his 
home is now in Major, Oklahoma, and I am indebted to Mr. J. C. Adams 
tor nearly all of the early history of Plum Grove township. Another 
of J. H. Adams' sons is J. A. Adams, who was born in Plum Grove 
township in 1874, and is living on his father's original homestead, of 
which he is the owner of 120 acres, having bought out the Adams and 
Pitzer heirs. There were several settlers who came in the sixties. Mr. 
Adams' daughter, Harriet, was the wife of Charles Lyon, who home- 
steaded the quarter section joining Mr. Adams on the east. Mr. Lyon 
went on a buffalo hunt and was taken sick and died about 1862 on 
Cow Creek, a few miles southwest of Wichita. Mrs. Lyon afterv\^ards 
married John R. Wentworth, who made final proof on the Lyon home- 
stead. Stephen Wentworth, father of John R., came from Chase county, 
Kansas, and settled on an adjoining quarter and himself and wife lived 
there until their death. Sam Karner was a squatter on a claim upon 
Avhich he did not remain long, and J. L. Green came and occupied it. 
Henry Comstock moved in and settled on Henry Creek, after whom 
the creek was named. Mr. Comstock was from Illinois and was a Civil 
War veteran. James Jones lived on a claim in the south part of the 
township. Amos Adams and wife, Nancy, cousins of J. H. Adams, and 
Mr. Adams, a Civil War veteran, came in 1866 and homesteaded on the 
northwest of section 30, living there until his death in April, 1904. 
Amos Adams and son, Hon. J. B. Adams, who for several years has 
occupied a prominent position in Butler county's political and financial 
matters, was born in Plum Grove township on the old homestead. 

While Plum Grove township had quite a number of settlers before 
1870, it in common with all of Butler county received its great influx 
of settlers and homesteaders in 1870 and 1871. January i, 1870, there 
were yet forty quarter-sections of Government land open for home- 
steading and which was entered by homesteaders filing before the last 
of 1871. Charles Coppins placed his homestead entry on the southwest 
quarter of section 26 in the spring of 1871, which was the last vacant 
Government land in Plum Grove township. There were two sections 
of vacant school land in the township, one of which was settled in 1870 
by C. V. Cain and AV. J. Johnson. Of the original homesteaders but 
one is now living on his claim taken in 1870, John H. Poffinbarger, a 
Civil War veteran. His homestead was the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 14. Since then he has purchased 320 acres more joining his origi- 


nal claim. Mrs. Mariah Odor is living- on a part of her husband's home- 
stead in section 28. On the J. H. Adams land lives one son, J. A. 
Adams, and a step-son, C. C. Pitzer. The heirs of Amos Adams still 
own the land their father homesteaded in 1866. Mrs. Adams died in El 
Dorado, September 9, 1914. 

Beginning at the northeast corner of Plum Grove township, I will 
name the homesteaders with the exception of those already mentioned : 
Section 2 had M. S. Eddy, his brother-in-law. Charles Johnson, James 
Turner and Thomas Commons. Section 4 had Mrs. Cole and one other 
whose name I cannot recall. Section 6 had William Dennis. On Section 
6 lived Ben Ogden and he died there about 1875. Section 12 was oc- 
cupied by William Dornbus, William Powers, George Mann, who was 
killed there in blasting rock out of a well ; also Henry Brown. On the 
southeast quarter of section 14 the owner was Frank Troxell, who died 
in the fall of 1872 with typhoid fever, at the house of Chas. Cobbins. 
John H. Poffinbarger, William Montgomery and Frank Jones were the 
other settlers on section 14. On section 20 was Nathan Duncan, who 
secured the relinquishment of the southeast quarter from the original 
homesteader, whose name I do not remember. Section 22 was orig- 
inally homesteaded by Milton Bradley, James Stuart, Lida Poffinbarger 
and Sam Crow. Sam was one of the most successful deer hunters of 
this whole country ; with his long-barreled rifle he killed a great many, 
and at that time deer and antelope were very numerous on these prairies. 

Section 24 was settled by John Cave and Poe and two others 

whose names I cannot recall. Section 26 had James Ledbetter, an old 
soldier, Charles Coppins, Jesse Smith and one other. Jesse Smith and 
Charles Coppins are both in their graves, but their homesteads are still 
owned by their widows, both of whom live in Wichita. Section 28 was 
settled by Robert G. DeYarman. Squire Smith, John H. Odor and 
W^illiam Watkins. Section 30 was owned by Amos Adams and James 
Jones. Section 32 was homesteaded by Mrs. Cornelious, her son, Joe 
Cornelious, and Allen and Henry Atrible. The only of these four now 
living that I know of is Joe Cornelious, in Harper county. On section 
34 I can recall but one of the original claimants, Silas Hall, who died 
several years ago. His widow still owns the homestead and is living in 

In Plum Grove township all the odd numbered sections, when not 
previously claimed, were included in the Santa Fe Land Grant. Quite 
a large amount of the best land along the streams was claimed by Law- 
rence and Potwin, who located it with railroad and agricultural college 

The different railroads were projected through the township. The 
first one, called Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska, came in the north line 
of the county and followed down the WHiitewater on the west side to 
Augusta. County bonds were voted to aid in building it, the only bonds 
ever voted by Butler county for the aid of a railroad. I do not remem- 



ber the year. The second project was from Fort Smith, Arkansas, but 
neither of those were ever more than paper roads. In 1884 the El 
Dorado, Newton & McPherson was under consideration, and the com- 
pany asked the township to vote bonds and take $20,000.00 stock in 
the road, which was done, the township receiving stock certificates for 
their bonds. The road was built in 1885. and the town of Potwin was laid 
out and named after C. W. Potwin, who owned the land where the 
town was located. In a few years after the road Avent into the hands 
of a receiver and was sold to satisfy a mortgage, and the township lost 
their stock. 

The first postoffice in the township, was Plum Grove, located at 
John R. Wentworth's, and he was the first postmaster and the office 
was named for a thicket of plum bushes near the Wentworth house. 
The office was established in the fall of 1871 and was supplied with 
mail from Towanda, at first once a week, and afterwards two mails a 
week. In 1872 Drake & Lobdell erected a building and put in a stock 
of general merchandise, which was the first store in the township. 
Later a Mr. Stewart opened another store. After the railroad bonds 
were voted and a prospect for a road seemed quite certain, the stores and 
post office were moved over on the proposed line of the road. A mail 
route was established from Peabody to Holden, in Milton township, and 
to Plum Grove, and Oliver P. Brumback carried the mail twice a week, 
walking and carrying it on his back. Some later the route was 
changed to run from Newton to El Dorado, and another postoffice was 
established in the township at the house of W. H. Randall. Office was 
named Ayr and Mrs. Randall was appointed postmaster. When the 
town of Potwin was started, the office was moved there and the name 
chang-ed to Potwin. The new town of Plum Grove on the west side of 
the Whitewater had two general stores, a drug store and a blacksmith 
shop. Stark M. Spencer was one of the merchants, M. C. Snorf the 
other. Dr. I. V. Davis had the drug store and practiced medicine, and 
W. W. Kemper had a blacksmith shop. A school house was 
built and the prospect was good for a nice little country town. In 
1885, when the railroad was finished. Plum Grove was divided, part 
going to the town of Brainers and a part to Potwin. I believe 
the first school house built in the township was on the hill between the 
Whitewater and Diamond Creek and was known as the Plum Grove 
school house and district. It was built in 1872 and soon after there 
was a Sunday school organized, and I believe the first superintendent 
was Jacob Holderman. There were several living in this neighbor- 
hood who in times past had been members of the Presbyterian church. 
Rev. E. J. Stewart, a Presbyterian minister, moved into the community 
and a church was organized and regular services were held for quite a 
long time, and the settlers came for a long distance to preaching. The 
Methodists had an appointment which was supplied by the El Dorado 
circuit and in June, 1871, S. C. Roberts was assigned to that charge, 


but as he did not suit some of the leaders in th El Dorado church, 
they did not want him. He drove oiit to Plum (irove and put up at my 
house, reaching" there about 6 o'clock in the evening of Jime 16, 1871. 
As we came away from the stable there was a heavy black cloud com- 
ing" up from the northwest. We had just got into the house when the 
storm came with a terrific wind and hail knocking- the windows all out 
and destroying" wdiat little crops we had. That was the storm that 
destroyed so many buildings in El Dorado and with some loss of life. 

In the spring" of 1871, Daniel M. Elder bought a saw mill at El 
Dorado and moved it to Plum Grove and sawed a large amount of 
lumber, for at that time there were a great number of large trees all 
along the streams and tlie lumber was what the settlers needed in 
building houses and stables. Mr. Elder, after sawing all the timber 
that was brought to him at Plum Grove, moved his mill farther down 
the AVhitewater. 

The first death in the township was George Adams, son of J- H. 
Adams,- who died in 1864, aged twenty-three years. The first birth in 
the township was Charles Stewart, born in i860 and died the same year. 
Eliza Jane Lyon was born December 20, i860, and is now living in El 
Dorado, the wife of W. G. Lyon. The first wedding that we have any 
account of was John C. Adams and Nancy M. Pitzer, in the year 1871. 


This township was organized April i, 1872, out of the territory 
comprising" township 26, range 6, and an election ordered held at the 
residence of William Shepherd, southwest corner of section 14, on April 
20. 1872. The following officers were elected: S. White, trustee; 
William Sample, treasurer; S. D. Andrews, clerk; V. M. Pruden and 
R. P. Edington, justices of the peace; Napoleon Chrisham and J. B. 
Sherman, constables. 

The boundaries of this township were afterwards changed, pre- 
sumably for the purpose of permitting the citizens thereof to assist El 
Dorado in procuring the E. E. & W. V. railroad, giving the township 
one mile of said road. The township .now contains, in addition to the 
original territory, a strip of land three miles wide and sixteen miles 
long. It also has about seven miles of the Missouri Pacific railway, and 
the thriving little town of Pontiac, containing" depot, stock yards, switch- 
ing facilities, also a general store by Siegrist Brothers, blacksmith shop 
and other lines of business represented, all doing a good business. It 
is also one of the principal shipping points for hay in the county. The 
township is well watered and the soil adapted to all kinds of agriculture 
and stock raising. 

Prospect township has within its borders one of the principal in- 
dustrial and commercial enterprises in the county, the stone quarry and 
crusher, owned and operated by R. E. Frazier, of El Dorado. This in- 



stitntion furnishes employment for from fifty to one hunderd and fifty 
people during each month of the year. Immense quantities of building 
stone, ballast and screenings are shipped out of this quarry daily. The 
estate of the late Charles Parker owns and operates a like institution 
adjoining the above on its east, but upon a somewhat smaller scale. 
The first patent under the homestead laws was issued September 

30, 1869, to Sarah C. Saxby for the heirs of Saxby, deceased, 

on land in sections 4 and 5. Prior m this time Amos A. Lawrance had 
issued script or land warrants on about 2,100 acres in 18655. 

Among the early homesteaders were: William Crimble, who home- 
steaded the present county farm; H. K. and James Johnson, Abe Mus- 
selman, Elias Hinkle, Cornelious Coble, I. A. Moulton, J. J. Donnelly, 
Charles Eckel. John S. Friend, Frank Cour, J. B. Sherman and also 
Phineas Hathaway, a gentleman of the old school and a Uuiversalist 
preacher, fond of good living, and enjoyed a joke or a roast on himself 
or anyone else. It is told of him that while on a shopping expedition 
in El Dorado, he called at a grocery and while purchasing some sugar 
of one of the parties, who, by the way, was a good church member, said 
to him : "Well, Brother F., I presume you still believe in literal hell 
fire and eternal damnation, do you?" "Yes, sir; yes," replied Brother 
F. "I do." "W^ell," said Phineas, "I am glad of it, I am glad you do; 
it is the only thing in the world that makes you give sixteen ounces 
for a pound." 

Very few, if any, of the original homesteaders now own or reside 
upon their homesteads. Among the early settlers were George C. 
Haver, Henry Martin, Beamis Brothers, J. E. McCully, John Teter. 
William Bailey and many others. 




Bv L. D. Himebausfh. 


Richland township is bounded on the north by Pleasant township, 
on the east by Douglass township, on the south by Cowley county, on 
the west by Sedgwick county, situated in the center of a prosperous 
and productive area known as the Big Four Counties of Kansas. 

Pioneer Period. — The pioneer period in the writer's view and ex- 
perience terminated proper with the grasshopper plaugue and devasta- 
tion of 1874. ^Mlat can be said of events and endurance of settlers in one 
section or township of this domain (unequalled in a like area today 
within the bounds of Kansas) will apply in a great measure to all parts 
of the territory. The first white settlement within the bounds of what 
is now known as Richland township was made on Eight Mile Creek in 
the summer of 1868 by John Steock, James Olmstead and Harve Hen- 
derson. This was the year of the Indian depredation to the extent of 
the killing of Mr. Dunn and his associate about three-fourths of a mile 
southwest of the Olmstead mill, built in 1872 and later known as Dunn's 
mill. This had a tendency to confine settlement to near town (or 
rather town site) of Douglass for that summer ; but the following year 
the valley of Eight Mile was claimed as far as the north line of the 
township, and cabins were erected by A. Liddle, H. Kellems, V. Love, 
M. G. Jones and Dick Reed. In the early spring of 1870 the writer 
laid claim to a share of this beautiful domain, locating on the south line 
of the township, which was then bounded on the south by Indian Ter- 
ritory. No soldiers patrolled the line and such a person as a "sooner" 
was not known. No person was a trespasser; anywhere he wished to 
go he had only to take his chances on meeting with half-civilized or 
hostile Indians or being visited by that class of people in sheep's cloth- 
ing, who made a business of borrowing horses at night and never re- 
turning them. It was a necessary custom with settlers that summer to 

(13) • 193 


bring all work stock from the lariat and tie them to a wagon or near a 
tent or shanty before retiring for the night. But over in Douglass 
township in November of that year they began tying up suspicious men 
at the rate of eight per month, which had a telling effect in keeping 
horses from straying off at night. In July of this year all the Indian 
land to the south side of the State was treated for and surveyed the 
following" winter. 

This started a flow of immigration into this part of the State and 
Richland got her share for several years, when the grasshopper invasion 
and devastation of 1874 caused a lull in this line. Not only this, but 
many settlers left the towniship and some the State to spend the winter 
with wuves' folks and other kindred. While the grasshopper invasion 
of this year came without warning in August, yet one month previous, 
July 26, the settlers of south Butler and north Cowdey received a mid- 
night warning that later proved to be false, but not until nearly every 
settler from the Arkansas River east to Walnut had deserted their 
homes in haste. Some children were loaded into wagons in their night 
garments with such supplies as were at hand and off they went, fleeing 
as they thought from a band of hostile Indians reported to have burned 
Belle Plain and coming east, killing and scalping every woman and 
child enroute. 

The Cheyenne and Osage Indians being a little on the warpath 
that year as to tribal claims, afforded some grounds for the belief of 
the report that was started by two parties who were making a night 
ride east to unknown parts, and for a sensational motive called at a 
farm house and reported that a band of Indians was slaughtering the 
settlers just west of the river and they were fleeing from them. The}^ 
reported the same at every house they passed, not giving any explana- 
tion only that they saw the Indians and Belle Plain was in flames. A 
paririe fire in that direction helped to give credence to their report. 
They soon had some follows, and they, feeling an interest in the safety 
of their neighbors, the tidings spread and the thoughs of defending wife 
and little ones at home prompted many to join the sampede for a more 
numerous and defensive stronghold. The Avriter was routed out by a 
lad, who with his parents was several miles from home, just as the Jirst 
ra}^ of morning light was visible in the eastern horizon. He related his 
Indian story, and requested him to get a gun and join them about 
eighty rods west at the house of Mr. Broughton. x\fter getting on 
boots and starting a fire, we sauntered out to learn the cause for all 
this, and found that the boy was not trying to play a joke on a lone 
bachelor. After consoling myself with the thought that no Indians 
were coming our way, I returned, got breakfast, did the morning 
chores, then saddled my horse and galloped south a mile to learn how 
the widow Daniels and her large family were feeling over this Indian 
scare report. To my surprise all were gone save the old gray mare 
that was grazing leisurely about the yard. The kitchen door was open 



and sugar, flour and other supplies were scattered about the floor. 
Xot seeing- any marks of Indian. depredations or moccasin footprints, we 
at once concluded that they, too, had got up earlier than usual and 
hastened away to save their scalps. On returning- home we learned 
that Fight Mile and \Valnut woods were full of men, women and chil- 
dren, and on half rations and ammunition, caused by their hasty exit 
from home. Sam Parker and several others went out west to spy out 
the situation, returning soon after the noon hour with the report that 
no Indians were in it at all. The whole thing was a sham and a false 
report. This was tidings of great joy, and all returned to their homes 


swearng vengeance against the ones who originated the stampede. It 
was later reported that those two fellows never stopped till thev struck 
the blackjacks in Missouri. 

The winter of 1874- 1875 is known and remembered as the "aid 
winter," not alone for the amount of aid the remaining settlers of the 
township received in the full sense of the emergency, but the style of 
supplies sent by the kind, sympathetic people of other States for gratu- 
itous distribution among the grasshopper sufferers of Kansas. Augusta 
being the county central supply headquarters, everything was sent there, 
and every two weeks it was appropriated to the different township com- 
mittees and brought hv one of them or their order for final distribution. 


The aid distributing point for this township was at the home of Deacon 
Harris, one-half mile west of the center of the township. Here nearly 
all he Richlanders met on the first and third Saturday afternoons of 
each month, more to see and associate together than to receive. The 
stvle of wearing apparel placed on exhibition for claimants and dis- 
tribution caused great amusement and was more varied than their 
Avardrobe had ever contained and might have put even the Indians to 
flight. At the present day it would be styled a rummage sale. They 
vv^ere the cast-off garments of forty years ago or more, gathered from 
attics "way down East," such as old Shaker and pasteboard bonnets, 
stove pipe hat with ventilators in the top, homespun dress skirts, striped 
threadbare shawls, cutaway swallow tail coats, old barn door pants, etc. 
The supplies for the inner man were more fitting and more sought for, 
which consisted of corn meal, flour, sugar, beans and occasionally bacon 
and dried fruit. At one time by mistake a barrel of coffee was sent in- 
stead of a barrel of beans. It was not distributed, the committee say- 
ins: that it came bv mistake and would be returned and corrected. It 
was returned to the back room and was lost in the hands of the com- 
mittee. The writer doesn't vouch for the accuracy of this saying, not 
being a beneficiary, but was several times a member of said distributing 
comm.ittee, which was revised in part or whole each month. This 
gratuitous distribution ceased long before grass started, but the people 
and stock went through the winter in fair working trim. Prominent 
among those who survived this period and are still residents of the 
township are Dick Reed, James McCluggage. L. M. Williams, Nathan 
Davis, R. L. Hodgin, J. H. Harris, A. J. Cramer and a few others. Since 
the v;riter changed his residence from the farm to Wichita, the first 
named of this list is now the only resident of the township still residing 
on the claims settled on in the early spring of 1870. The closing of this 
period is generally considered to have been a "blessing in disguise." 
The continued drought of 1874 had doomed most of the crops when 
the grasshopper invasion of August came and consumed what little 
the-e was left save a fcAV small fields of early planting on die streams, 
so the grasshopper was the leading issue of destruction. Aleetings 
were called at various places and the situation discussed ; expense funds 
were raised and a soliciting agent was sent back East to his old home 
and friends with circulars and even official affidavits of the horrible 
state of the grasshopper devastation in Kansas, which was liberally 
responded to and very encouraging reports and supplies followed. The 
first cash in many instances was returned to the donors in defraying 
railroad expenses of the party sent, after which all donations were 
equally divided among the needy of that section. A stock company of 
ten was formed in Xorth Cowley county by advancing five dollars each 
to send Adam Walck back to Ohio. This committee of ten was to have 
full benefit of all aid solicitations by him while in Ohio. The .first con- 
signment was clothing and one hundred dollars. This was 100 per cent. 


]-)rofit ill cash to the stockholders and their stock at once went to a 
premium. One young fellow sold his stock to a poor widow for her 
only cow. Later another party sold his twice in one day, as he was 
ready to leaA^e the countr}', realizing" twenty dollars. No further cash 
contributions came through that channel. The most lasting benefit to 
the State at large in this line was in the individual and Congressional 
contriljution of seeds in abundance of various kinds, which started the 
country afresh with the best seeds of the land. Yet, in short, all church, 
public and indiA'idual aid from the East was duly appreciated as will be 
later noted. 

Richland township during this pioneer period was visited by sev- 
eral destructive prairie fires caused by Indians firing the prairie. South 
of us, near the State line, with favorable wind and little obstruction, it 
soon swept north for many miles. In October, 1871, the greater part of 
Richland surface was swept by one of these fires, the loss of much prop- 
erty and one death resulting. George Cline, then at work on Eight 
Mile for M. G. Jones, perceiving that a fire was coming from the south, 
at once set out to protect his claim shanty, located one mile south, but 
the raging flames reached there before he did. His only hope was to 
hasten back, but was soon overtaken by the oncoming fire and in an 
effort to run through the flames all his clothing was burned from his 
person. In this agonizing state he managed to get back to Mr. Jones', 
and died from his injuries the following day. In his conscious Incurs 
he related his experience, stating that he had on his person $200 in a 
leather pocketbook. After his sufferings ended several parties went 
up to search for the lost purse. A few buttons and a pocket knife were 
found and also footprints of a horse, wdiich was followed to a place two 
miles northeast, a light rain having fallen after the fire passed over, 
making it an easy matter to follow the footprints. The peculiar shape 
of die track led to the ownership of the horse, and on inquiry it was 
learned that he had started on business for Emporia that morning. 
Two parties with a legally executed search warrant were hastened up 
the valley, overtaking their man above El Dorado, who denied finding 
the purse, but on being informed that he would have to submit to a 
search, as they held papers to that effect, he confessed and produced 
the outward scorched purse with full contents and was permitted to go 
on. In the same fire, Mrs. M. H. Lea, near the center of the township, 
on seeing the coming flames nearing her house, and thinking it would 
be consumed, in her excitement picked up the feather bed and ran out 
of doors in order to save it, but before she found a suitable place for it 
the smoke and heat caused her to drop the bed and get back in the 
house. The feather bed was cremated, but the house and contents were 
uninjured. The following year in an electric storm, Joseph Kellems, 
only son of Harmon Kellems, and a brother of Mrs. Jesse Perry, was 
instantly killed by lightning a few hundred yards west of where Pleas- 
ant Valley school house now stands. Following this, another respected 


citiz.-i! residing- in the west part of the township, Mr. Meeker, lost his 
hav barn from this cause, consuming two horses and a wagon. Re- 
covering somewhat from this loss, he left the township and later, with 
a member of his family, met death on a railroad crossing in Cowley 

It can be said to the credit of Richland that during this period 
when unwritten law and expert bluffing and spasmodic use of firearms 
predominated, no serious blood was shed in adjusting rights of settlers 
and their deliberations one with the other. On the other hand, every 
settler's latch string hung out, and his supplies for the inner man (if he 
had any) were in a measure free and it was no crime or trespass for 
one settler to stop and get feed for himself and horse in the absence 
of the proprietor. He would leave his card of thanks and move on, 
perhaps looking for a claim, a stray horse, or something else. It was 
a period of socialism in its true sense, as one person was just as good 
as his best neighbor and had just as much (nothing) and could easily 
and readily divide. 

Exports of this period consisted principally of hides from long horn 
cattle that had failed to tide through the winters after having been 
driven from Texas late in the season ; a few deer pelts and furs, such as 
mink, otter, wolf, raccoon and feathered game during the winter season. 
The imports were everything else of necessity, wagoned from Emporia 
and later from Florence, except venison and buffalo meat, which was 
then obtained near at hand, but not without some hardships and suffer- 
ing when overtaken l)y blizzards so frequent in those days on the tree- 
less prairie. Jake \'anBuskirk described the outcome of those days in 
this manner : ( )n being interrogated by a new comer, the following 
year, as to how the people managed to live through this trying pioneer 
period, said: "Well, sir, it was just this way: Our garments waxed 
not old in those days, and we subsisted principally on grasshoppers, 
buffalo meat, dead prairie chickens, jack rabbits, slippery elm bark and 

On or about the beginning of the year of 1875, the cloud of pioneer 
gloom and adversity rapidly dispersed and the sunlight of progress and 
prosperity rewarded the toilers w^ith bountiful crops for many years to 
the extent that Richland had plenty and to spare. In just one decade, 
from 1874 to 1884, when the township conributed a full car of No. i 
corn to the Ohio Valley sufferers, caused by the highest water ever 
known in that valley, a whole train load was sent from Kansas, a re- 
ciprocal donation for past favors, with interest, based on money value. 
This corn was sold to a Kentucky syndicate and the proceeds given to 
the destitue. We learned that it vv^as converted into whiskey and pre- 
sume shipped back to the West under the label of Kentucky Bourbon 
or Old Rye, and sold for four or five dollars per gallon. This was equal 
to assisting a mule from the mire and when his going is established, 
to have him right about and kick you. The rapid settlement of Rich- 


land during this decade (and previous) were by an industrious class 
of people and early advocates of schools, education and political equal 

Richland township, in its primitive state previous to 1874, politic- 
ally was under Douglass township rule, they having the balance of 
powder, controlling the nomination and election of all township officers. 
All judiciary was held in Douglass and heavy assessing in Richland. 
The trustee would come over into Richland and assess everything he 
could find on a claim whether the owner w^as there or not, regardless 
to whom it belonged, just so he knew who was holding doAvn the claim; 
assess all rails and posts anywhere on the land at five dollars per hun- 
dred and all dead animals (if he could learn that they w^ere alive on 
March ist of that year) and all in school district No. 20. This and the 
course of other events, of taxation without representation, caused the 
circulation of a petition praying that we might be set off as a separate 
township, which petition was at first rejected by the county commis- 
sioners on grounds that it was penciled instead of being penned, and a 
few other minor technicalities. A meeting was then called at Maple 
Creek school house, the petition renewed and enlarged and names siig- 
gested for the township. H. R. Furgeson claims to have suggested the 
name Richland, which being most appropriate and fitting, was adopted. 
The prayed for petition was granted in January, 1874, and the first elec- 
tion was held on April 19th of that year in a claim house owned by Mrs. 
Snodgrass; situated near the southeast corner of southwest one-fourth 
of section 15. A few days previous to the election a called meeting was 
held at Maple Creek school house, and the following ticket formulated: 
Trustee. J. H. Lowery ; clerk, B. M. Hodgin ; treasurer, A. J- Cramer; 
justices. Smith Goodspeed and J. Vanhouton; constables, F. Fleck and 
J. Oldham. At this first election forty-eight votes were cast. Early on 
election day a bolt was made on the nominee for trustee and L. B. Hull 
was elected in his stead along with the balance of the ticket. 

This election board was composed of, judges, Smith Goodspeed, T. 
Fleck, M. H. Lee : clerks, J. H. Lowery and L. D. Himebaugh. 

This being the hopper devastation 3'ear, our State motto, "Ad 
Astra Per Aspera," can be very fittingly applied to this little 
sub-division. All the elect qualified in due time, save treasurer, who, 
for cause of absence from township, L. D. Himebaugh was appointed 
in his stead for ensuing year. Same officers w^ere re-elected the follow- 
ing year. L. B. Hull served the township as trustee for several years, 
and was succeeded by James McCluggage for two terms. L"p to this 
time party politics was not known or recognized in selection of candi- 
dates for tovN-nship officers, which was usually done with little or no 
previous arrangement, on the morning of election. Clerks and judges 
of election after being duly sworn and opening of polls, would have 
a temporary recess, till ticket was formulated and ready to be passed 
by a judge from the hand of a voter to a paper box (usually a shoe 


box) with hole in top covered with a primer, ahnanac or a pamphlet of 
recent election laws. At this period and for a few years later, town- 
ship elections were held in February, until Richland Centre school 
house was built in 1878. All elections were held one-half mile west 
at "Deacon Harris's," or on south side of road at Rev. Harrison's. 
Just previous to the spring election of 1880 the first township (Repub- 
lican) caucus was held and the following township ticket nominated : 
Trustee, L. D. Himebaugh ; treasurer, D. W. Ulam ; clerk, James Wal- 
ton ; justices. Smith Goodspeed and A. Vanhouton ; constables, H. B. 
Furgeson and Than Fleck. 

This year in earh- summer Smith Goodspeed moved from Kansas 
to Oregon, after having served as justice eight years and having had 
many important as well as many unimportant justice of peace 
cases to dispose of which when carried to higher courts, his finding was 
generally sustained. One on change of venue was the noted civil 
action, wherein Niel A\'ilkie was plaintiff and Sam Parker, defendant. 
Controversy was over an old stone w^agon worth $10 or $12 used by 
plaintiff while making the fill in A\'alnut river west of Douglass. Both 
plaintiff and defendant claiming ownership of wagon by purchase from 
different parties. After being used several days by plaintiff, it dis- 
appeared between two days, and its whereabouts were only known 
(or supposed to be known) by defendant. A legal search did not re- 
veal all parts of the wagon. The plaintiff at a hearing before Justice 
Goodspeed was represented by Attorney A. L. Redden of El Dorado, 
and defense by Wall W'ebb of Winfield. The proceeding was to estab- 
lish ownership of property. After all evidence had been produced 
and ai)lv commented on bv attornevs, the Court's findino" was for de- 
fendant. Appeal was taken to a higher court, which, in time, sustained 
the justice Court's decision, and the wagon, if ever found, was probably 
by this time in some junk pile. Mr. Goodspeed was a justice in the 
full sense of the term, would always bring about a compromise between 
litigants, if in his power to do so. At one time two of his neigh- 
bors, of ecpial merit in his estimation, became angered and a little 
bloodthirsty at each other over trespassing of stock pro and con be- 
tween them, one had exacted several dollars" damage by retaining his 
stock, vv'hen found on his premises a few days later, his cattle was 
lured across the road and corralled. Notice was given the owner, of which 
he paid n.o heed, but at a late hour of the night, stole across and drove 
his stock home. On finding his neighbor's stock v/as back home in the 
morning without his knowledge, his indignation was then ripe for a 
fight or a suit. Squire Goodspeed was consulted, failing to effect a 
peaceable settlement and wishing to avoid a suit, suggested a settle- 
ment by referee, by taking thirteen names of householders in the com- 
muniry, and each party striking off alternately one name till twelve 
were challenged, and the remaining one should hear the evidence and 
his decision be final. This being agreed upon, the referee honor, task 


or misfortune fell to L. D. Himebangh, who, after hearing the sworn 
testimony of plaintiff and defendant, revealing the fact that defendant 
had wilfully opened carroll and driven the cattle from plaintiff's en- 
closure, in violation of herd law custom, his decision was $i damages 
to be paid plaintiff by defendant and cost of referee proceedings in all, 
84.40. Justice Goodspeed enjoyed or rather endured nearly all town- 
ship, judiciary and legal business, even in officiating in occasional mar- 
riages, whose tying up, like that of his judiciar}-, was seldom reversed. 
The justice of the peace business in central and southern part of 
township was later administered by H. B. Furgeson, James Walton, L. 
D. Himebaugh; J. H. Price and A. J. Thetgee, all of whom, save latter, 
enjoyed all the business they desired and more too, and gladly passed 
it on to some one else at expiration of office term. The same can be 
said of Staley, Smith, Hall, Oldham and Vanhouton, in north part of 
township, who officiated at different times, in that capacity. 

Republican nominees with L. B. Hull as trustee met with success 
at polls in 1882-3-4-5, head of ticket suffered defeat, first by a Repub- 
lican and later a Democrat, (B. M. Hodgin), who held the office two 
years, by reason of a legislative act setting aside spring elections and 
continuing township officers till November election. The November 
election of 1886 resulted as follows: Trustee, James AIcClug;gage ; 
clerk, A. Simpson; treasurer, D. W. Ulam ; justices. Rev. Woodward 
and H. B. Furgeson. Trustee elected November, 1887, A. J. Cramer; 
trustee elected November, 1888, James McCluggage ; trustee elected 
November, 1889, B. M. Hodgin; trustee elected November, 1890. Elias 
Mitchell; trustee elected November, 1891, Elias Mitchell; trustee elect- 
ed November, 1892, A. J. Cramer; trustee elected November, 1893, W. 
S. Bacon; trustee elected Novmber, 1894, H. B. Furgeson; trustee elect- 
ed November, 1895 and 1896, H. D. Olmstead : trustee elected Novem- 
ber, 1897 a^cl 1898, 13. G. Chauncy ; trustee elected November, 1899, J. 
M. Kuhn ; trustee elected November, 1900 and 190T, N. Russell; trustee 
elected November, 1902 and 1903, F. Staley. which office was made 
vacant by person-elect moving from township, and L. D. Himebaugh 
was appointed by county commissioners to fill vacancy. After this 
date by legislative act, township officers were elected for two years, 
instead of one. Trustee elected 1904, Ralph McCluggage; trustee elect- 
ed 1906, Ralph McCluggage; trustee elected 1908, O. E. King; trustee 
elected 1910, O. E. King. Three members of first county commission- 
er's district were chosen from Richland during this period : A. Mas- 
terson, Lafe Stone, and L. B. Hull (later by appointment to fill va- 
cancy). Several of her worthy citizens have been honored with a place 
on county ticket, but generally location and not qualification were ad- 
verse to success at polls, except on educational lines, treated of in fol- 
lowing subject. 

As formerly stated, Richland pioneers were early advocates of 
schools and methods of education. And like all new countries, efforts 


to organize a school district had its adversaries, as a small per cent, of 
the land was dedded and subject to taxation, many householders were 
bachelors. A school district, to enumerate fifteen children of school 
age, required in the early '70's nine or ten square miles in order to erect 
a school building by bond issue, and in many cases this, bond proposi- 
tion met with defeat through those who would have the burden of taxa- 
tion to bear for a few years, and those whose time had not yet come 
to have children of their own to educate. In districts where this inter- 
est predominated a claim house was donated, by some bachelor who 
had made final entry on his claim or perhaps moved in with a neighbor 
bachelor, to let his house be fixed up and used for school purposes. 
Law made it necessary for a term of three months school to be taught 
by a qualified teacher in a newly formed district before being entitled 
to any state funds. This first school by subscription, like many other 
requirements in pioneer days, was breaking the ice and paving the 
way for smoother sailing and better days. Yet, with few exceptions, 
all settlers subscribed freely towards maintaining the first school, but 
in many instances, drouth, grasshoppers or prairie fires caused some 
to fall short of their subscription when time and effort to collect rolled 
round. A teacher's order in those days, like some other commercial 
paper, was not worth much at home and less abroad, necessitating a 
few to increase their original subscriptions to meet delinquency. School 
district No. 63, being the first to organize within the bounds of town- 
ship embracing three and one-half miles' North and South, and three 
miles East and West. First school was taught in early summer of ''j'^, 
by Mrs. Freeman at $15 per month, in a claim house near the south- 
east corner of northeast quarter of section 27, belonging to James 
Lee, repaired and fitted up for school purposes. There being no trav- 
elled roads or visible lines, it was thought best by patrons to run a fur- 
row from school house to northeast corner of district, which was done 
with breaking plow to aid pupils in that part of the district to go to 
and from school. The following year district 80 was organized in 
southwest corner of township, being the first to erect a school building 
by aid of bonds. Said bonds were sold at eighty cents. Seventy-eight, 
(Diamond), district followed in organizing and soon erected a fine 
stone school building. Eighty-one was organized and completed its 
school building a short time prior to that of 78. One hundred nine was 
next organized and several terms were taught in a claim house before a 
school building proper was erected. District No. 100, previously nu- 
merically given, but later organized in limitation by taking territory 
from districts 63, 78, and 109, in order that a suitable location of said 
district 100 would be in centre of township,' convenient for both school 
and township purposes. District no, on or near north line of township, 
was also organized in the latter '70's, being very artistically finished 
for that day, but like that of 81, got too big for its clothes, and merged 
with several other districts, (or parts of them), into a consolidated 
union in 1907 for methods of advanced education. 


In less than ' one decade from date of organization in Richland 
township had seven public school buildings within her borders, where, 
in each a school was maintained from three to seven months during 
the year, and Richland soon took place in first column and near the 
top too for good school buildings, good schools and good teachers. 
From the ranks of its teachers came the first female county superin- 
tendent of Butler county, Mrs. Florence Holcomb Olmstead, who de- 
voted her time, talent, and energy in the discharge of her official duty, 
giving, as it were, her life in the line of education and reform. She, 
coming to Kansas from Indiana with her parents in seventy-two, began 
teaching at the age of sixteen, was Federal census enumerator of 
Richland township in 1880. She died at the age of thirty-three, near 
the close of her office term as county superintendent. F'our years later, 
1894, another one of Richland's teachers. K. M. Holcomb, a member 
of same family, was called by vote of the people to the high and honor- 
able office of county superintenden of public institutions. Like that of 
his sister, his administration was up-to-date, of that day in theory and 
practice, full of flowers and reforms, pertaining to education and social 
interest, leaving footprints, not in the sands, but indelibly stamped in 
the minds of the rising generation to his official credit and the fair land 
if Richland. 

On completion of the Sante Fe cut off from Augusta to Mulvane, 
the name and business of Rose Hill was moved one mile west, and en- 
joyed a steady growth in business and population; that the town with 
a little adjoining territory formed a school district, erecting the eighth 
school building within the township, in the year 1890, numerically 

known as district No or the New Rose Hill school. A few years 

later the consolidation of rural districts for a township, or central high 
school, w^as strongly advocated by leading educators and being adopted 
and tried with good results in some sections of the State ; the energetic 
people of Rose Hill and vicinity were enthused with the opportunity 
for establishing a high consolidated school in the young town as a 
further incentive to progress and prosperity. After due and legal pri- 
maries, an election was called, resulting in favor of consolidation of four 
school districts. A bond election was held in due time to vote on the 
proposition to issue bonds to the amount of $10,000 for the erection of 
a consolidated high school building. Said election resulted in favor 
of bond issue ; the city hall was fitted up and seated for school pur- 
poses, where the first school was held, commencing September, 1908, 
with 200 pupils attending. On completion of the new, commodious 
and imposing school building, a feeling of good cheer went up from 
])atrons and pupils. September, 1909, the four departments with prin- 
cipal and four assistants, opened with renewed vigor and increased en- 
rollment of pupils, for a nine month term for ensuing year. Lilly Picket 
and Merl Moon have the honor of being the first graduates of this 
institution, which exercises were held at close of term, 1909. 


Under amusements is classed the various methods of social sporting 
and beneficial entertainments during this historical period. The first 
ndulgence in this line by early settlers was as much of a necessity 
as amusement. Deer, antelope, badger, (and along the streams, wild 
turkey, raccoons and beaver), were quite numerous, affording both 
sport and meat, in their capture. At times several horsemen with 
hounds and guns would chase a bunch of deer or antelope, as much for 
the sport as their capture. Mr. Couch and his boys, (later of Oklahoma 
fame), would often indulge in that kind of sport between the Walnut 
and Arkansas generally bagging their game by the time the chase 
reached one of the extremes. The writer well remembers when at one 
time his newly made garden suffered a tramping up by two does and a 
buck, leading four hounds followed by several broncos and riders ; none 
ever so much as halted to offer an apology for the intrusion; one-half 
mile west the creek was crossed and a counter chase was made down 
north side of creek, resulting in the capture of one doe ; the other two 
Avere permitted to go on for the chase another day, or target for some 
settler's rifle. The still and hide hunt was more successful in bagging 
of antelope and turkey. A pony purse, horse race and occasional shoot- 
ing match for a hog, goose or turkey w^as indulged in with much com- 
pelling interest in those days ; until the fair sex numbers and influence 
changed the order of things somev^^hat, when social gatherings at some 
ranch dwelling was of frequent occuraiice, where quadrille and waltz 
kept pace and step to violin music. 

Like all pioneer settlements, the dance mania like the ague, of that 
day, was nearly unanimous, at least the majority had it bad, yes and 
good too, as later on, when Richland was part of Rev. Harrison's mis- 
sion field, the proceeds of a social dance and supper was occasionally 
means for a pastor's donation ; and b}^ him accepted in good faith. 
These social entertainments were soon varied somewhat by organiza- 
tion of literary societies for social and mutual benefit. The first in the 
township was organized December 14, 1872, at John Gardener's house, 
situated near south line of section 17. The prime movers being Mr. 
Goodspeed, Mr. Gardner, Mrs. Weston, Miss Jennie Weston and Miss 
Maria Walton. This was principally a debating society, of questions 
pertaining to best interest and needs of settlers, herd law, female suf- 
frage, credit system, etc. The participants were Gardner, Goodspeed, 
Roberts, Doc. Berger, Tucker, Walton, Gaymon, Stansberry, McClug- 
gage, Carlton, Furgeson, and Mrs. Weston. The society was well- 
attended and well conducted, meeting semi-monthly during the winter. 
It was re-organized at same place in early winter of seventy-three, and 
changed place of meeting to Maple Creek school house on its com- 
pletion in 1874, at which place it was re-organized and held for several 
consecutive winters. Soon after the completion of school building in 
district 78, (Diamond), an interesting debating society was organized 
in that part of township. The leading lights being L. B. Hull and sons. 


A\'illiams, Cox, Sinclair, Davis, Picket and the TTod«in brothers. A 
good literary program, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, 
readings, dialogues and paper, w^as rendered semi-monthly. L. M. 
Williams held the standing appointment as critic at all meetings, whose 
criticisms were beneficially and well rendered. The society continued 
with unabated interest for several winters. The third organization of 
this nature within the borders of the township was at Providence school 
house during the winter of 1883-4, and known as the Rose Lawn Lit- 
erary society which met semi-monthly during the winter, being a de- 
bating society, in general. Participants were W. G. Giesy, George 
Bannon, J. R. McKay, Dr. Work, H. B. Furgeson, Himebaugh, A. C. 
Thetgee and others. Following this, a few years later, the Mutual In- 
formation Society was organized and held meetings for mutual benefit 
in town hall over the store, during the winter and early spring. This 
being a select or restricted organization, a clause in the by-laws re- 
quired all members to prepare and take part in all duties and subjects 
assigned them by president or committee on program, which made it 
diversified and no less interesting and beneficial. Another known as 
the Twnlight Club, composed of school "marms," male teachers and 
students, met for mutual benefit at stated intervals in south part of 
the township, during the closing winter of the nineteenth century, Miss 
Cora Stanley being the prime mover. In north part of township, read- 
ing clubs and spelling contests greatly interested the progressive class 
during the nineties. The growth of Rose Hill during this and the fol- 
lowing decade brought about the more up-to-date instruction and en- 
tertainments. Aside from the high school entertainments, and base 
ball contests, a series of lecture courses w^as held during the winter of 
1909 and 1910 through auspices of the Lyceum Bureau, at the Rose Hill 
high school building. 

As the primitive customs, of no noted observance of the Sabbath 
day, in the' business routine of labor and sociability with the early set- 
tlement of S. W. Kansas, like that of all other pioneer sections, grew in 
numerical strength, a Christian spirit, leading to Sabbath observance 
naturally begins to find favor and endorsement among all civilized 
people, so it was in Richland. 'Tis conceded that the first Sunday 
school organized within the bounds of Richland township was at the 
claim house of Miss Maria Walton, situated on northwest corner of 
southwest quarter section thirty-three, in the summer of 1872. The 
prime movers being Miss Walton and brothers, all supplies being sent 
from AA'aukesha, A\^is., their former home. The school continued to 
grow in interest and was later moved to the home of Air. Hatch and 
on completion of the school house was for years held there, known as 
the Maple Creek Sunday school. 

At one period under the superintendency of L. P. Carlton was 
recognized the banner Sunday school of Richland township. Following 
this a Lmion Sunday school was organized in the north part of town- 


ship, which was well attended and much interest manifested. Mr. and 
Mrs. Haines and Mr. Staley were active in advancing the cause. In 
the late summer of seventy-two. Rev. Green of the M. E. faith and 
order was given a Mission field in Southwest Butler and adjoining ter- 
ritory. He held a series of meetings at Stanberry's house the follow- 
ing winter. The second missionary awakening was in the north part of 
te township, by one or more parties advocating the Seventh-day Advent 
doctrine. Meetings were held at the home of B. M. Hodgen, (a bach- 
elor), whose home and hospitality were always open for religious serv- 
ices, as well as social entertainments, which often varied the evangel- 
istic service with a change of program, for one evening. Rev. Harrison 
followed Rev. Green in his Mission field for a few years, organizing 
several classes. He was later followed by Rev. McCollister who 
changed the denominational order to that of Protestant Methodist 
which gained numerical strength and following, resulting in the erec- 
tion and dedication of the first church house within the bounds of the 
township, in eighty-four, situated on northeast quarter of section 23, 
known as the Pleasant Hill church. Several years later. Rose Hill class 
built a good church house, and later in 1906 the same denomination 
erected a church two miles south of township, known as the Red Bud 
Church. The three classes constituted a ministerial field till 1909 when 
at the convening of the general conference, Rose Hill was set off as a 
station. Since then one minister is employed for Rose Hill class and' 
one for Pleasant Hill and Red Bud. 

The faith and order known as Friends were early in exercising 
their influence and Avorship, holding meetings from time to time at 
various places in north part of the township, and as early as 1881 com- 
pleted a church house near the north line of the township, from which 
the good benefits have emanated equal in a great measure to that of 
Penn in colonial days. The next awakening was that of the Christian 
order b}' Revs. Harvey, Barret, Yard, in the latter seventies which 
gained endorsement and following through series of meetings held in 
various parts of township, setting forth Scripture teaching and the duty 
of man to man, and man to God, not fully in harmony with other orth- 
odox creeds and belief. A joint discussion on this line worthy of his- 
toric note between Rev. Yard and an M. E. clergyman was held at 
Pleasant valley school house in July, 1879. The day was warm and 
sultry and the house filled to overflowing; during services a small cloud 
was seen to form apparently from a clear sky followed by a distant peal 
of thunder. As the approaching cloud grew more dense and gradually 
taking on the form of a twister, the knowledge being conveyed by the 
onlookers outside to the attentive listeners inside, soon marred the real 
interest of the discussion, which was changed to that of fear of the 
approaching storm. Some with their rigs hastily departed for home. 
The services had a premature concluding, as the approaching dense 
twister lowered and drew nearer, causing many to desert the dwelling 


and seek outside protection along- the hedges to which they cking with 
a firm grip, trusting divine power beyond the elements for protection. 
It is said as Mr. Turner Holcomb and wife came and saw the impend- 
ing danger, Mrs. Holcomb, realizing that they could not reach home, 
said, "We must trust to Providence," while her husband remarked, 
"Yes, trust in Providence, but cling to the hedge roots." The center of 
the storm passed near, followed by a slight sprinkle of hail and drench- 
ing rain. The fierceness of the twister lowered to earth northwest of 
the school house and swept everything in its path in a northeasterly 
direction, stricking the house of John Nichols, swe])t it from foundation, 
scattering contents and material for a mile or more along its path, also 
vehicles and some stock on the premises. Occupants nought refuge 
in an out door cellar, the only thing not torn asunder by the cyclone. 
No lives were lost in Richland and no thoughts or theory attributes 
the freak elements of that Sabbath day to the joint discussion in the 
little school house, where both art and nature w^as made manifest, not 
soon to be forgotten, by those who heard, sa^^^ feared and felt. 

Later the religious work was furthered along through the labors 
of Revs. Wright and Cain, resulting in the erection of a fine church 
building in the latter eighties, situated on south line of section 15 as a 
beacon light and gospel dispensary; gaining numerical strength, as 
well as being the early Christian home of Harold Olmstead, son of H. 
D. Olmstead, who later has won distinction in his evangelistic work in 
other states as well as at home. With three denominational churches, 
within her borders and four nearby (Friends) in which two or more 
ordained ministers of today had their early Christian home, Revs. Wells 
and Hinshaw, and two of the M. P. denomination. A. Shipman and H. 
Woodw^ard, who later joined the M. E. church in his early ministry ; 
which all goes to show Richland's output and progress in Christian 
workers and work in line with all other advances during this historical 
period and greater results of the seed sown will doubtless later be 

In 1890 the Federal census of Richland (taken by the wa-iter) re- 
corded the least percent, of illiteracy of any enumerator district in the 
state, save one, being a fraction over one and one-half per cent, of all 
who were ten years old and over, and the same can be said on the line 
of poverty and pauperism. 

The first Federal postoffice established within bounds of the town- 
ship was in 1873 at the residence of L. M. Williams, situated on south- 
east quarter of section 5, and known as Rose Hill postoffice, deriving 
the name through J. FI. Lowrey who had a great fancy for botanical 
culture and made great effort to beautify his home claim, the northwest 
quarter of section 8, in the early summer of seventy-three by growing 
roses and other flowers and shrubbery to his fancy to be know^n as 
the Rose farm. But his efforts were badly blighted the following year 
by the grasshopper invasion, and all he had left to start with on the 


following spring was the name, which was perpetuated in the name of 
the postoffice, L. M. AA'illiams being first postmaster and continued as 
such for five years, when the office was moved north one mile to the 
house of H. C. Staley who succeeded Mr. Williams as postmaster. A 
few^ years later, Mr. Meeker succeeded Mr. Staley till Rose Hill became 
a railroad village and office established. The second Federal office 
was at Rev. Harrison's on section 21 and known as Richland Centre, 
in 1878 or 1879, being discontinued in 1882. The third Federal post- 
office within bounds, was in the early summer of 1883 on section 34, 
Providence postoffice, the name given the inland mineral water resort. 
John Bunnell was appointed postmaster, whose son, C. F. Bunnell, 
pre-empted the land and sunk a well to the depth of 142 feet and struck 
water of a salty, peculiar taste. He was advised to have it analyzed 
rather than discarding its use entirely for domestic purposes; which 
w^as done. The great beneficial and curative properties were tested 
by several, for ailments and infirmities. Among those was A. Hide of 
Wichita, who, after receiving great benefit from the use of water, was 
instrumental and prime mover in the organizing of a stock company, 
for improvements of well, comforts and convenience of an}' who stood 
in need of the healing balm. 

A general supply store was built north of the road by A. A. Hyde, 
also the fine country dwelling (now owned by K. ]\I. Holcomb). The 
store building was one of two stories. Norman Hagan acted as proprietor 
of the store, his family occupying the rooms above. This continued for 
a time. The stock was later purchased by H. T. Holcomb who con- 
tinued the store and postoffice for several years. X. M. Hare put up 
a convenient blacksmith shop on the new town site, Warrender & 
Beedy a good livery barn ; a dwelling of modern architecture was also 
built nearby and occupied several years by R. AVarrender. Copner 
built on Mineral street and kept a fair stock of merchandise in con- 
nection with the postoffice. C. F. Bunnell and another family 
had their residences on this street, and Rev. Latham later con- 
ducted a store on Providence row. Br. Adams for a time occupied the 
hotel and conducted a drug store. The north building on Mineral 
street was a neat cottage built and occupied by the builder, as a resi- 
dence and confectionary in a small degree. All lines of business en- 
joyed a profitable patronage so long as the prime movers and patrons, 
during the AVichita boom days, lent support and advocated the benefi- 
cial effects of a few weeks' outing at the Providence mineral resort. 
Numerous parties during the summer of 1885-6 and later, from AA^ichita, 
enjoyed (or endured) a few weeks' stay at Providence, Butler county. 

Causing a depression or cessation of business and interest of Provi- 
dence, on par, with that of the Peerless Princess collapse period. AA'hen 
AVichita lost faith in herself, Providence was sold to the farmers in that 
vicinity. Following this was the Oklahoma boom and opening, and 
many of the village residents winged that way. Soon many dwellings 


of the mineral well village left on wheels. George Osborn has several 
on his farm which have been twice wrecked by cyclone since moving; 
he said it was Providentially so ordained and no fault of his. One store 
and the postoffice was kept alive by various parties until 1898 when it 
was discontinued and the building moved off, leaving the hotel and K. 
M. Holcomb's residence of the original Providence, which still remain. 
The hotel is now by beqeathment the property of Ed Bunnell, son of 
C. F. Dunnell. With the gradual decline and patronage of the healing 
qualities of the Providence mineral output, during the eighties, was 
the incentive for Rose Hill to forge to the front, which it did on com- 
pletion of the railroad in 1887. Situated in the northwest part of the 
township, surrounded by a fine agricultural and stock company, it soon 
became a very prominent shipping point which, like the town, has been 
on the increase, keeping pace with progress. 

Rose Hill is noted as a clean, tidy village. A larger per cent, of its 
buildings are more artistically painted than any town in the county 
and boasts of more and better sidewalks in proportion to population 
than any wide-awake town in the county. Good walks extend to the 
high school building in the south part of the village ,all pupils attending 
this school residing one-half mile distant are conveyed to and from 
school at the expense of district in comfortable rigs fitted for that 

Rose Hill is the distributing point of two rural routes, and has 
up-to-date 'phone service with surrounding country and towns. 

Of the forty-seven personal tax payers of 1875, only seven are found 
on the personal tax roll of 1910. As follows: Briles, A. J.; Cramer, A. J.; 
Himebaugh, L. D. ; Millison, Wm. ; Pulver, Wm. ; Williams, L. M. ; Mc- 
Cluggage, Jas. 

One branch of the Texas cattle drive via Wichita to Abiline trav- 
ersed Richland township from southeast to northwest, where a herd of 
looo or more long horns could be seen most any day during midsum- 
mer of 1870, and a few drives were made the following year, when set- 
tlement interfered, forcing the drive west of the Arkansas river, ter- 
minating at Dodge City on completion of railroad to that point. The 
class of cattle and the men who handled them (cowboys) were monarch 
of all they surveyed and their rights there were none to dispute, result- 
ed in many tragic fatalities. The cattle were chuck full of the same 
spirit; settlers often rode out to see the herds when grazing, with 
a view of purchasing one for beef, and would naturally dismount to 
look more closely, but he was warned by several long horns facing him. 
indicating, "You get off the grass, or into your saddle, or we will raise 
you one." No time was lost in getting back into saddle. Many of 
these Texas cattle were purchased and wintered here and sent to mar- 
ket the following- summer. There being no railroad they were driven 
to Kansas City or some point in Missouri. Texas cattle wintered in 
the state of Kansas were bv statutory law exempt from quarantine and 


permitted to be driven to market on certificate of county clerk of 
count}-, where wintered. 


By J. D. Hamilton. 

On February 15, 1872, a petition was presented to the board of 
county commissioners, asking that a township to be called Rock Creek 
be formed out of the territory described as follows: Commencing at 
the southeast corner of section 36, township 20, range 4, thence running 
north on section line six miles, thence east nine miles, thence south six 
miles, thence west nine miles to the place of beginning. The petition 
was granted, and the residence of John Wilson was appointed as the 
place for holding elections. The first officers were : A. T. Havens, 
trustee; Benjamin Thomas, treasurer; P. Dillman, clerk; W. S. Wilson 
and G. ^^^ AVakefield, justices of the peace; John Beard and Thomas 
Campbell, constables. 

The first land upon which final proof was made, according to the 
records here, was in section 32, for which a patent was issued June 13, 
1870, to Parlina A. Kinder. Among others making final proof in the 
early seventy's were Chester Briggs, R. A. Taylor, William. Cousins, 
C. R. Guyot, J. J. and J. A\'. Plummer, Amos Stewart, George W. Burk, 
James B., Gilbert L,, and M. M. Walker. O. B. Lent, S. W. and John 
A. Adams, S. F. Gibson, E. M. Denton, L. W. Benepe. John Crowe, 
Joseph Matheny, J. E. Valkman, Charles M. Little, J. L Hall, A. B. 
Woodruff, Henry Bally. Those who still own their original claims are 
\\'. G. Cousins, C. Guyot, Amos Stewart, G. AA . Gibson, Joe Hall, and 
others whose names I can not recall. 

Rock Creek is one of the best townships in the county. Having no 
city, there is not so much attention given it. Two creeks. Muddy and 
Rock Creek, pass through it, one on the north, the other on the south, 
which gives it a good vvater supply. Many acres of the most fertile 
land in the county are found here while the uplands are fine for stock 
raising. Ed Gussman, John Bush, E. Dornboss are extensive stock 
raisers and shippers, and many farmers raise hogs and young stock, 
and when you speak of the hen. Rock Creek scores ninety-eight and 
one-half per cent. There are more women raising more chickens and 
selling more eggs here than in any other township in the county. There 
are more eggs laid in one day in Rock Creek than are laid in Rhode 
Island in a month. More roosters crow and wake up more farmer boys 
at four o'clock than they do in North Dakota. In fact, Rock Creek 
has them all skinned a city block, on the chicken question. 

There are eight school houses in the township used for churches as 
well as school, and one church, the McCabe Chapel, owned by the 
Methodist Episcopal denomination. They have a registered minister 


ever}' Sunday. Union Sunday school, all the ladies' accessories, chil- 
dren's and mothers' day, and even the ever present Ladies Aid Society. 
As I stated before there are no villages in the township, but Smiley and 
Welch have a general store seven miles east of Douglass, and a hall 
that would make Augusta jealous. Talk about your shallow test; 
Smilev and Welch have an oil well on top of the ground. The place 
is called Smileyberg on account of Smiley having the store, and Bamey, 
who runs a blacksmith shop, sharpens tools, has a gasoline engine and 
furnishes the hot air for the town. A good time is to call on Bamey, 
just before dinner and you will have a scjuare meal. 

Some of the older citizens that are yet living are Pete Dillman, 
Hank Johnson, W. O. B. Lent, Mrs. Amma Doyle, widow of the late 
Patrick Doyle. The Doyle family are some of the best citizens.' Henry 
Bally, Isaiah Stevens, G. W. Bibson, James Glaves, family have all 
been good citizens. W. H., the father of Bare Boy, Amos Whitney, 
Robert Bribes, C. E. Sleece, Stevanson, Houser. and manv others I could 
mention, have all helped in the uplift of this community. 

One of the old landmarks of Rock Creek township is Mount Tabor 
school house which has been used for church and school purposes for 
forty years, and children that got their education there have been called 
to the four winds of the earth. C. R. Johnson, one of the most pros- 
perous farmers, lives north of it and has .240 acres of land. Mack Phil- 
lipa is also a prosperous farmer and good trader. Steve Long bought 
the Heshly estate and for a small sum a few years ago and made a good 
farm of it. John Haggard, from Germany, and his devoted wife, have a 
fine farm. 


The records of the county commissioners fail to show date of or- 
ganization of this township, but from other- sources it is known that 
it was formed out of a portion of El Dorado township in 1871. An elec- 
tion was held in said township, April 8, 1871, and the following officers 
elected: R. Huston, trustee; S. Woodman, clerk; H. Wagner, treas- 
urer; H. C. Stevens, justice of the peace; D. R. Blankenship, constable; 
and William Baily, road overseer. 

Rosalia township took its name from that of the first postoffice 
established in that portion of the county. H. C. Stevens and his uncle, 
J. M. Stevens, came out from Mendota, Illinois, filed on homesteads 
and improved them. The postoffice was located at his house and in 
casting about for a name for it the happy thought of honoring his wife 
occurred to him and he called it Rosalia. 

The first settlers came in 1868 but they did not stay. Those who 
did establish a local habitation are: 1869 — D. R. Blankenship. Phil 
Korn, Robert Huston, Sam Woodward, J. G. Cook, James B. Correll 
and George Auten ; 1870 — A. P. Foster, S. H. Foster, Hiram Benedict, 
Gus Raymond, Mr. Tuttle, Dick Wiley, Samuel Davidson (who built 


the first house on the high prairie between Eureka and El Dorado), 
William AVoods, J. T. McClure, L. W. Decker, Nelson Surpluss, James 
and J- P- Huntley, Elias Leh, Fred Miller, G. W. Chamberlain, Charles 
Butler, the Shermans and N. B. Snyder; 1871 — George McDaniels, 
Robert Martin and Doc Reynolds. 

AValter Clark came in seventy-two and still lives in the old town- 
ship, jolly as ever. The same year came M. M. Piper and his sons, 
Charles, Allen, Will, Dan and Val. George Songer and his family came 
about that time. The privations of some of these people sound like 
romance. Nelson Surpluss, having no conveyance, in 1871 carried a 
sack of flour home from El Dorado, at least thirteen miles and was 
glad to get it that way. The biscuits tasted mighty good, so he says. 
His daiighter, Miss Mary, the first white girl born in Rosalia, was 
one of the county's foremost teachers. Forman Cook is the first boy 
born in the township. 

D. R. Blankenship drove his stake on his present f?rm on the 
north branch of the Little Walunt in November, sixty-nine. Himself, 
wife and baby began the battle in December following. Their worldly 
possessions were two horses, a wagon and $50. One of the horses died, 
which was a serious loss. Preacher Small sold him some of Charley 
Noe's corn at seventy-five cents a bushel, and Elias Bishop of Chelsea 
let him have some at the same figure. Edward Jeakins, below El Do- 
rado, parted with two bushels of potatoes at $4.50. J. G. Cook helped 
him and soon poles were ready for the log cabin which G. W. Miller 
and Robert Huston helped him to build. He rived the "shakes" from 
an oak tree and roofed the cabin himself ; then chincked it and moved 
in on a dirt floor and built a fire in the stone fire place. Even the 
hinges of the door were his oavu make. He tells this whopper: In Feb- 
ruary, seventy, he sowed wheat and oats on prairie sod which he turned 
over and harrowed. His crop was twelve bushels of wheat and thirty 
of oats to the acre. This was the first sod broken in the township and 
who can doubt that Providence favored the poor and humble home- 
steaders and their families. 

The town of Rosalia w'as platted in September, 1883, by G. W. 
Chamberlain and F. G. Miller. It is now a thriving little village on 
the Missouri Pacific railroad, having two general stores; C. A. Blanken- 
ship and S. R. Anderson; C. F. Branson, hardware; the Rock Island 
Lumber Company; a State Bank, J. H. Liggett, cashier, and other bus- 
iness firms and all prosperous. The township has about twelve miles 
of railroad within its borders which assists in keeping up the school and 
other taxes. There have been but two county officers from Rosalia 
township; S. F. Packard, county commissioner and W A. Liggett, 
countv assessor. 


By M. L. Arnold. 

Spring township was named by Henry M. Wingert, because of its 
numerous and beautiful springs. Was incorporated by the board of 
county commissioners September 4, 1871. The first election was held 
at the home of O. Greer, September 19, 1871. The following were 
elected: Kane Garrison, trustee; James Crawford, treasurer; C. F. Mil- 
ler, clerk; E. H. Clark and G. Stephens, justices of the peace; H. King 
and D. Church, constables. 

The early settlers of Spring endured all the privations, hardships 
and pleasures incident to life in a new country. Those who stayed 
were more than compensated for all the self denial practiced and all the 
struggles through which they passed. But few are left. Those living 
on their homesteads at the present time are L. A. Ridge, B. F. Arnold, 
J. B. Smock, H. C. Morgan, and I. G. Morgan, C. C. Currier, who re- 
sides in El Dorado still owns the quarter he preempted. Children own- 
ing the land pre-empted by their fathers are J. C. Green, George Dee~ 
dond, J. J. Mannion, of Augusta; W. A. ^^"arner, O. Cody and John 
White. Among the early settlers who bought their land and still re- 
main are W. B. Earll, L. Bolinger, D. T. Willits, Mrs. Carrie Bankey, 
Mrs. James Conest, Mrs. W. Sharrock and J. H. ^Armstrong and G. W. 
McGahey, of El Dorado. 

Thus we can see that the pioneers who moved from comfortable 
homes in the East, many of them, and broke the prairie, built the homes, 
planted the hedges and orchards, established the churches and schools 
are almost gone. Those who are left are not the vigorous men of forty- 
five years ago, many of them are broken in health, old, retired ; the 
second generation have active charge of affairs today and the' third is 
fast coming on. Next to the name of the soldier should be placed the 
name of the pioneer who gave much of his life that we might enjoy the 
luxuries that are ours today. 

Among the important accounts in the early history of Spring town- 
ship was the building of the St. Louis & San Francisco railroad in the 
summer of 1880. The establishment of a general store at Haverhill in 
the same year by the late Joseph W. Brown was another important 
event. From a small beginning Mr. Brown built up a good business 
and prospered. For twenty-five years he was agent for the Frisco at 
Haverhill, at the time of his retirement being in point of service the 
oldest agent of the road between St. Louis and Wichita. Mr. Brown 
always took an active part in public affairs, was a man of strong per- 
sonality and always stood for what he thought was right and for the 
best interests of the community. Before his death he sold his stock of 
goods to McDowell Brothers, who conduct the business at the present 
time. The store was a favorite meeting place for the exchange of ideas, 


gossip and the discussion of all kinds of subjects. The man who would 
do his trading and hurry away was looked upon with a little suspicion. 

H. H. Leonard, now of Wichita, and one of the finest citizens any 
community ever had, for many years held the checker championship of 
the store. He perhaps did not always play the best game, but played 
more of them. It was here that the first Haverhill base ball team was 
organized under the leadership of AVill Glaze and for many years Ha- 
verhill has had one of the best teams in the county. J. C. Greer, who 
still ambles around first base with as much agility, if not quite as much 
grace, as he did twenty years ago, is the only member of this first 
team who still plays. J. C. Glaze, now one of the prosperous farmers 
of Spring township, at one time conducted a store at Haverhill. In 
1902, C. R. Marshall and Sam Frank opened a general store at Haver- 
hill. This business was successfully conducted in turn by Frank, J. B. 
and E. L. Marshall until 191 5. when it was closed out by E. L. Mar- 
shall, that he might devote all of his time to his veterinary practice. 

From an agricultural standpoint, it is an ideal township. It is 
divided up, as a rule, into small farms, a very large majority of the resi- 
dents owning their own homes. It is drained by the Walnut and Little 
Walnut rivers. Along these streams and their branches are many acres 
of fine bottom land. The people are and always have been progressive, 
intelligent and law-abiding. In the forty-five years of its history, its 
criminal record consisted of one murder, that of William Jones, who 
was killed by an unknown party in December, 1903. C. C. Currier was 
justice of the peace for twenty-five years and never had a criminal case. 

There are three churches in the township. These organizations, 
with their splendid membership, have always exerted a great influence 
for good over the entire community. In 1891, C. Y. Trice located a num- 
ber of families from Illinois in Spring township, among whom were the 
families of C. R. Marshall, S. Kenyon. A. Bailey, J. H. Leonard, Knute 
Seglem and A. Kneutson. These families were a splendid addition to 
the community. Cave Springs, located in the northeast corner of the 
township on the A. C. Smock farm, has attracted much attention and 
is one of the natural wonders of the State. In this article time and 
space forbid the mention of many names that have been prominently 
identified with the history of the township and county. This story in 
its completeness is offered without apology in the hope that it will con- 
tribute to some extent to the memory of the pioneers of Butler county, 
Spring township, located in line of the developed oil and gas fields, and, 
with its wonderful natural resources, will contribute to the happiness 
and prosperity of its people for a century yet to come. 




By Mrs. Lizzie Bishop Harsh. 

I esteem it quite an honor to be asked to add a little to the history 
of the great county of Butler. It was some time in February, i860, that 
my father and mother, Elias and Nancy Jane Bishop, with my two 
sisters, Permelia and Emma, and myself landed in Butler county on 
the west branch of the Walnut river at the home of Uncle John Bishop, 
who, with his family, had moved there the vear before. It was onlv a 
few days before we bought our farm north of Chelsea, moved and lived 
in a sheet shed belonging to G. T. Donaldson. 

The doctors in our old home in Iowa advised my father to move 
and settle somewhere in the A\^est on account of mother's health, which 
was very bad at that time. The following summer my father and 
cousin, Will Bishop, built our new home out of logs out of our own 
timber, puncheon floor, clapboard roof, and it was here that one more 
was added to the family, a baby brother, J. E. Bishop. Our house was 
one room and a shed kitchen. It was to us a mansion. My father was 
a carpenter ; soon the country began to settle up and father had plenty 
of work. He helped to build the school building at Chelsea. Mother 
was a mid-wife and so had work out of the home, as the nearest doctor 
to be had was at Emporia. Just think of going to Emporia for all 
groceries, lumber and everything that we used. \^t brought one load 
of supplies with us, -so did not have to go to town soon. We were 
homesick many times, but there were two classes of people, "goers and 
stayers," and we belonged to the latter class, as we were not able to go. 
We never wanted for meat, as my father was a hunter and brought in 
great many deer, chickens and a few turkeys. I remember avc had fine 



wild plums, raised sorghum and good gardens, but we had some things 
that were far from pleasant, grasshoppers, drought, prairie fires, hot and 
cold winds: Indians were plenty. I will always remember the first 
Indians that called at our home. We yet lived in the shed. Three very 
large fellows, real blanket and painted Indians came in Avithout being 
asked, warmed by the fire, talked and then went out and looked at 
cousin's ponies, came in and warmed more, talked and looked around. 
Well, we girls stayed close to mother, who was so frightened that she 
was pale. "" The Indians said, "Squaw 'f raid, big 'f raid." They did not 
ask for anything. We learned afterwards that they were looking for 
stolen ponies. 

Chelsea had the first school in the county, a little log hut on the 
bank of the ^Valnut, just east of the Donaldson home. Sister Permelia 
and I were pupils under three teachers (Mrs. Bates, Lizzie Shriver, now 
Mrs. Lizzie Ellis, and Mrs. J. E. Buchanan) in the little old cabin. By 
that time we had our new school house, No. lo, and it got that number 
by dividing the district and giving No. I "to the northern district. 
By this time we had many neighbors and a saw^ mill on the Donaldson 
farm, very near our old log school house, and here I must say that my 
father made many, if not all, of the caskets to bury our dead, and one 
was our dear neighbor, G. T. Donaldson, who met his death by a saw 
log rolling off the wagon and onto him, crushing him. If people who 
complain of hard times and think they have so little could go back and 
go through one month of the earlv davs thev would be thankful and 
would not complain. Well, we lived through it all and enjoyed life, too. 
The whole neighborhood was one family. AA'hen the Ellises or Donald- 
sons killed a sheep, calf or pig, the Bishops had some, too ; no strife or 
selfishness then. Soon people wanted some kind of amusement. The 
first was dancing, then parties. I think it was the second or third sum- 
mer before we ever heard a sermon, and that was at a camp meeting at 
El Dorado under a big tree. Don't remember the preacher's name or 
denommation ; only remember .that El Dorado had a prisoner there 
with a big ball of iron chained to his feet and he was converted and 
the minister helped carry the ball into the river and immersed him. 
We had a little Sunday school in the log school house.. A\'e had no 
Sunday school literature, just the Bible, learned verses and received 
cards ; sometimes we committed whole chapters to memory. Miss 
Maggie Vaught conducted the Sunday school and later Mrs. Lizzie 

It must have been about 1879 that father sold the home, and we 
moved to El Dorado for a short time ; bought and moved to Turkey 
Creek in 1881 ; sold and moved to Sycamore Springs, and now will tell 
a little about Sycamore. I taught the first school in Sycamore. Before 
we moved here I taught in a room in J. B. Parson's house. Before the 
term was out the new school house was finished, and that was almost 
in ]Mr. Parson's yard. The first postoffice was at Air. Hubbard's, two 


miles south of us. J. B. Parson built the house at the springs in 1870. 
Frank Donaldson at the same time built a little store just across from 
the Parsons house and sold it soon to William Shriver, of El Dorado, 
who sold eats and drinks to the travel. This was the old stage route. 
Mr. Slover, an old bachelor, built the first log hut on our farm, the first 
that was built in the township, and before this he built a stone stable 
on the farm now owned by Mrs. William Hoy. In 1870, George Snively 
and family, Sylvester Myers and family, came from Ohio, and Mrs. 
Snively told me that they left one load of household goods at Emporia 
and brought one load of lumber instead. They came to this stone 
stable, which had a manger, and it served both families until they came 
down to the springs and bought. Mr. Myers took eighty acres of school 
land and Mr. Snively bought one hundred and sixty acres of Mr. Stover. 
He began to build and sent teams back to Emporia after lumber and 
goods. In 1871, Philip Harsh and sons came from Ohio and bought out 
Parsons and Snively. Mr. Snively went west three miles and bought 
land, and now owns a dry oil well and 800 acres of land. 

The old historic sycamore tree which gave name to the township, 
the first postoffice and church and school, has been blown down. The 
old house, which has had in time new roof, siding, floor and kitchen ad- 
dition, is still standing, filled with grain, plows, etc. The old shop or 
store, whose foundation was not on a rock, has fallen. The Harshes 
were here only a short time when the postoffice was moved to their 
house and remained for years, and it was in this house that so many 
weary travelers were housed and fed. Father Harsh sat and slept in 
his chair many night to let the stranger have his bed and many times 
the doors would have to be closed so that the beds made from door to 
door. The upper story was already full. The man without means to 
pay was cared for as well as the one with money. It was in this house 
that the first sermon was preached. Preachers of all denominations 
were invited to preach. When a preacher came the boys on horses went 
and told the neighbors and all came. It was hard for Father Harsh to 
to come out here and do without his church, the German Reform. 

As I write this and try to think of old times passed, the hard things 
we had to endure, the awful prairie fires and one terror to all was the 
chills and fever. We could stand the fever better than we could the 
chills, because often we were unconscious and did not realize the suf- 
fering, but oh the chill ! How we did shake, and everybody had them 
the first, second or sometimes the third year, and now people come and 
go and we have forgotten the awful ordeal that we used to have to pass 
through, but we lived through and now in our old age, we are trying to 
enjoy (Uir homes, telephones, automobiles and just waiting for the old 
ship to take us on. 

Sycamore township v^^as organized July 7, 1871. Its first officers 
were: J. K. Skinner, trustee; C. H. Hegwine. treasurer; J. Canfield, 
clerk. There are no railroads in the township, but we have one graded 


and are patiently waiting" and watching for the arrival of the "Orient." 
There are many thousands of acres of grazing land and thousands of 
cattle are pastured thereon during each pasture season. Cattle are 
shipped from Texas to the Eastern markets in the spring, unloaded here 
and pastured during the summer, when they are re-loaded and sent on 
to market. 

Cassoday is the capital of this township and consists of all the 
accessories that are needed to make up a good, thriving country villlage, 
including a bank, blacksmith shop, stores of various kinds, hotel, 
churches and schools. The township is in the northeast corner of the 
county, and is eight miles north and south and fourteen miles east and 


By A. W. Stearns. 

On August 23, 1867, Butler county was divided into four townships. 
Tow.anda township was bounded as follows : Commencing- at the south- 
east corner of section 12, township 27, range 4, w^est to county line; 
north to northwest corner of county; east to range line, between ranges 
4 and 5 ; south to place of beginning. The first township officers were 
appointed on April 14, 1868. They were as follows: Henry Comstock, 
trustee ; John Wentworth, treasurer, and James N. Jones, clerk. The 
first election in the township was held April 6, 1869, and the following 
were elected: W. H. Avery, trustee; Henry Comstock, clerk; Milton 
Snorf, treasurer; Stark Spencer, justice of the peace; Amos Adams, 

The first white settler in Towanda township was C. L. Chandler, a 
native of Ohio,- who had been stricken with the gold fever and had 
joined the forty-niners and crossed the plains to California in quest of 
the yellow metal. Here he remained until 1857, when, not having ac- 
quired the wealth he hoped for, he started on his return home, follow- 
ing part of the way the old Santa Fe Trail. On reaching a point north 
of what is now Butler county, he chanced to meet a party of Indians, 
traders, who were returning from a trip through the southern part of 
their territory of Kansas. Their description of its beauty and apparent 
adaptability for settlement so interested him that in company with two 
others leaving the train of returning gold miners, they proceeded south, 
reaching the head of the Whitewater in September, 1858. Following 
the stream down to a point near the large spring flowing from the hill 
on wiiich Towanda is now located, Mr. Chandler was so pleased with 
the country in general and the Whitewater valley particularly that he 
decided to settle here. A small log cabin was soon built on the bank 
of the little creek near the spring, in which he spent the winter of 1858 
and 1859. This was the first house build in Towanda township. In 
the spring of 1859, Mr. Chandler returned to his old home in Ohio after 


his wife and two children, coming" back to his chiim with them after a 
few months' absence. The family remained here until 1862, when their 
claim was purchased by J. R. Mead, and they left the country, destina- 
tion not known. 

During- the year 1858, and soon after Mr. Chandler's location at the 
M'owanda spring, William Van. from Missouri, with his family, con- 
siting of a wife, three sons and four daughters, arrived on the White- 
water and settled near another large spring a short distance below the 
Chandler home. Here a log cabin and other buildings were built. The 
family remained here until 1872, wdien they sold out and left. One 
other pioneer of Towanda township. Jay Que Hager, a single man, 
from Barry county, Michigan, came to the Whitewater the latter part 
of 1858 and located on what is now the southeast cpiarter of section 6, 
in Towanda township, and near the junction of the main W^hitewater. 
A small log cabin was built, in which Mr. Hager lived two or three 
years, when he left, going to New Mexico, where he died soon after. 
This comprises all of the 1858 or first settlers of Towanda township. A 
Mr. Jackson, wife and one child came into the township in 1859. They 
remained unt'1 1862. when they left, going back East. But little seems 
to be known concerning them. At this time Kansas was yet a territory. 
The country was not surveyed and none of the settlers know the num- 
bers of land on which they had located. There were still roving bands 
of Indians passing through and camping on the river, sometimes re- 
maining there for weeks. While not really hostile, they were not desira- 
ble neighbors and caused considerable uneasiness to some of the whites 
becausi of their isolated location. 

In 1868, a little party of immigrants from Fulton and McDonough 
counties, Illinois, consisting mostly of relatives and neighbors of the 
settlers, reached the Whitewater country. They had been preceded the 
previous year by two pioneer families from Hancock county, Illinois, 
Harrison Stearns, wife and three children, and Daniel Mosier, wife and 
six children, who had settled on the Whitewater near Towanda. The 
party of immigrants consisted of Gilbert Green, wife and eight children ; 
Richmond Jones, wife and two children ; J. G. Stearns, wife and four 
children ; John Heath, wife and seven children, and C. Watrous, wife 
and four children. All of these settled in Towanda township and helped 
materially to found and build up the present thriving and progressive 
community Their descendants are still living here, some of them on 
the original homesteads taken by their parents. 

Probably the great spring which has gushed its torrents of cool 
water for i'ges was the cause of the founding of Towanda. Old plains- 
men and hunters knew of it fifteen years before there was thought of 
settling the country. In those years, now known to only lengend. its 
volumes of water was greater than now. The Indians knew of it and 
told the whites of it long before it was seen by them. Here in the wide 
bottoms of the Whitewater, covered by abundant grass for their ponies, 



the Indians pitched their teepees. While the squaws stayed in camp 
looking after the domestic affairs, the Ijraves were chasing the lordly 
buffalo that roamed the prairie in countless herds. The ^^"hitewater 
valley must have enchanted the first white men who beheld it. Its 
broad and fertile valleys and gentle undulating uplands that let the eye 
scan miles of its surface, had beauty and attraction irresistible. It is 
a stream abounding in crystal waters that never fail and fed by many 
tributaries like itself. 

Daniel Cupp seems to have been the earliest comer in the White- 
v/ater valley, at least, the first who came and stayed. That was in i860, 
when he and his young wife braved the perils of the frontier and settled 
upon the farm they still possess and is their home. William Vann in 
the same year built his cabin further up the Whitewater. Mrs. A. G. 


Davis now of Benton, is a child of this early comer. Cupp and a few 
others who came about i860, have killed buffalo without number in 
western Butler. S. C. Fulton "struck the country" in 1863, and found 
them roaming in unnumbered thousands in what is now known as Sedg- 
wick and Sumner counties, and west to the Rocky Mountains. The close 
of the Civil war left thousands of soldier boys with home ties broken. 
The government began giving away homesteads. The boys married 
the girls they left behind them when going to the war and came to 
Kansas. With each year after 1866 the tide of immigration grew higher 
until the climax was reached in 1870. Who does not recall the claim 
hunter, the home hunter, the land agent, the speculator, the scout, the 
cowboy, and the horseman, "the prairie schooner" that cut across the 



conntr}^ without road, paying no attention to aught save direction? 
Somebody has remarked that all there was to Kansas at that time was 
prairie grass, sunshine and wind — an abundance of all. 

Early settlers in Towanda township were: i860 — Daniel Cupp and 
Wright Goodale; 1865 — Andy J. and James W. Ralston (still there and 
prosperous). Dr. J. O. Bugher, who felt cramped at the encroachments 
of civilization and went to Wyoming a few years ago and died there; 
1868 — Gilbert Green (who ran the stage and mail route between El 
Dorado and Wichita), Harrison Stearns, John Heath, S. S. McFarlane, 
Richard Jones, Dan Mosier, Robert McGuin, J. W. Tucker, Isaac 
Alooney, Osburn Mooney, Horace Maynard, Simon Brair and Clark 
Waite, Willis Priest, William McDowell, Dr. William Snider, David 
Barnett, Dr. R. S. Miller, John and Joshua Shriver, James and Dr. J. D. 



Godfrey and their sister, Miss Nancy; Robert McClure, Lewis Hart, 
Duncan McLaughlin and Julius Straw, now all deceased except Joshua 
Shriver, who came in 1869, 1870 or 1871. There were many who came 
a year or two later. All these met the usual trials, difficulties and hard- 
ships incident to frontier life. All were poor. The rich did not care to 
face the discomforts of new lands. There was many a homesick heart, 
many sighs for the old homes amid the comforts and conveniences of 
the civilization they had left. Pioneering is especially hard and dis- 
tressing on women. They had little to do with. Their duties were cir- 
cum.scribed by unhappy circumstances and conditions and their enforced 
idleness often led to repining. Many women who left homes where the 
comforts and even luxuries were plentiful and entered with their hus- 
bands into home l:>uilding upon a raw sod and with limited means have 
testified that it was a most disheartening effort. 


. In the seventies and prior, long tedious trips were made to mill, 
forty, fifty, seventy-five and even one hundred miles. Household neces- 
sities and pine lumber were hauled by teams an equal distance. Money 
vvas scarce. Interest was high. Labor at first brought good wages, 
especially that of the carpenter. Log cabins at first were the rule and 
they were built solid and comfortable. Settlements were along streams 
almost exclusively prior to 1870. Saw mills were freighted in and 
worked up native lumber into studding and rough boards. The fare 
was of the plainest, often consisting of "samp," a hard corn, julled and 
cracked, and buffalo "jerked" (dried) meat boiled in milk. This was 
a standard dish, and with corn bread and the sweetness that accom- 
panies a good digestion and hunger, sustained and grew robust men 
and women. Of the early "kids" yon don't see any that are stunted from 
such fare. Clothes were of the plainest and would have condemned 
many a settler in polite societ}- who is now well-to-do or wealthy. 
Buggies and other road vehicles were rare. The big lumber wagons 
carried the family or a horse carried man and wife or lover and sweet- 


Situated nine miles west and south of El Dorado, on a slightly 
elevated tract overlooking the AVhitewater river, is Towanda, an in- 
corporated town. It can be truthfully said that it is one of the best 
trading points, one of the nicest little towns, and has some of the most 
enterprising citizens to be found in Butler county or in Kansas. 

In 1870 Rev. Isaac Alooney had surveyed and laid out in town lots, 
ten acres of what is now the southwest corner of Towanda and thereby 
became the father of the present bustling little village. Before this date 
J. B. Alead had established a trading post in the W'^hitewater valle}^ 
about a quarter of a mile w^est of the present town site. At that time 
Towanda was what might be called the trade center for the country 
within twent}- miles, and stirring indeed were the doings of the old 
trading post of long ago. It was at that time the division point for two 
stage lines running over the western plain with headquarters at Em- 
poria and Humboldt. It was also the camping ground for government 
trains and immigrant w^agons on account of the beautiful spring bub- 
bling out of the hill on the west side of town. 

The first store building erected on the present town site of Towanda 
was built by G. AV. Baker, in 1871, upon a lot south of the present M. E. 
church. The lot was given Baker by Isaac Moone};, who was engaged 
in the same business, as Baker expected to enter in the log house shown 
elsewhere in this work. The only instance on record where one man fur- 
nished another with means of entering into competition with the donor. 

The next building was by L. Viets, father of C. L. Viets, of Wichita, 
and Allie Viets, of Augusta. He afterward sold his stock of goods to 
William McDowell and moved the building to Augusta. Then came 



R. S. Miller and J. H. Dickey, handling hardware and drugs, followed 
b}^ II. Taylor & Son, general merchandise; J. M. Reed, A. Aikman, G. 
W. Stewart, blacksmiths and woodworkers, and many others. 

Good business buildings have been erected in the past few years. 
In the residence section wonderful improvement has been made, new 
houses erected and a general prosperity seems to have taken the town. 
There is a full two-story building built by the Masons of Towanda. 
They occupy the upper story for a lodge room, which is nicely fur- 
nished 'for the purpose. The lower story is occupied by Shriver & 
Glass with a large stock of hardware and implmenets, buggies and 


wagons, etc. G. W. Moore is the owner and editor of The Towanda 
News, a newsy home paper. The Knights of Pythias hall is a good 
brick building, the first floor of wdiich is used for a storeroom and the 
second for a lodge room. It is owned by the order. The State Bank of 
Towanda, F. W. Robinson, cashier, and J. C. Kullman, president, is one 
of the solid institutions of the coun^^^^ and is doing a thriving Imsiness. 
J. C. Kullman, C. B. Sewart and L. C. Hill, general merchandise, and 
many other lines of business are represented, and all are prosperous. 

Towanda township has about ten miles of the Missouri Pacific 
railway system, a good depot and shipping facilities. More fine draft 
horses, Holstein cows and other live stock are loaded and unloaded at 
this station for the Robinsons, Bishops, Girards and than any 
other point in the county. Wichita, a town of some note, lies about 
twenty-five miles south of Towanda. Towanda has always been a good 


trading- point. It grew slowly. Once it received votes for the county 
seat. Its early social life was of that limited sort peculiar to people com- 
ing together from almost every point of the compass. The first school, 
the first church organization and other firsts are like unto the beginnings 
of all new countries. Rev. Isaac Mooney began preaching on his 
arrival at his new home and kept it up steadily until his death. He 
bought the splendid valley west of the village from Mead, filed on the 
one hiuidred and sixty acres east of it as his homtestead, donated the 
cem.etery, platted the town, and gave away lots in encouragement of 
new comers. He has been fruitful in good works and faithful in every 

From the camping place of the Indian and from a trading post, 
Towanda has grown to a tidy little village. In 1892 it was largely 
razed by a c}clone. but its people built it anew and better than before. 
It lias two substantial churches; some fine and several substantial resi- 
dences and many comfortable cottages. It is surrounded by a neat, 
beautiful and most fertile country. It has a fine brick school building 
with four departments, is one of the high schools in the county. The 
Masonic lodge. No. 30, shows it to be one of the very oldest in the State ; 
the G. A. R. and its auxiliary, the \A'. R. C, are represented. Towanda 
citizens have been active and prominent in county affairs. Hon. Isaac 
Mooney and his son, V. P. Mooney, Andy Swigett. M. D. Ellis and S. 
C. Fulton and R. B. Ralston and M. A. Wait have been called to official 
positions and performed their duties with fidelity and zeal. 


T1iis township is in the extreme southeast corner of the county. 
It is six miles north and south and ten miles east and west, extending 
into Flint Hills, and contains som.e of the finest pasture land in the 
world, as well as some of the best farming lands. Its soil is adapted to 
and produces abundantly crops of all kinds, including alfalfa and other 
tame grasses, as well as an abundant supply of the wild or prairie grass. 

The records of the countv fail to show the date or organization of 
I'nion township. They do show, however, that the citizens of Union 
township voted at the general election held in November, 1871, and that 
the following township officers were elected at the election held in 
April. 1872: George Sherar, trustee; J. A. McGinnis, treasurer; H. M. 

Lemon, clerk; Benjamin , justice of the peace; George 

Messick, constable. Among the earliest settlers of the township, in ad- 
dition to the above, were J. S. McKee, Alvin Proisen. AVilliam and D. L. 
Sherar, T. F. Ferguson, William Van Meter, Milo Nance and many 

The township is noted for its live stock and hay industries. Many 
cattle are pastured, fed and marketed from this place with an immense 
amount of prairie hay shipped out each year. Latham is a vigorous 


little town laid out in 1885. It is on a branch of the Frisco railway. 
There is about ten miles of the railwa}" in the township. Atlanta is a 
small station in the southern part of the county. Latham has a popula- 
tion of 350 with practically all line of business represented : Bank, J. 
P. Garnett, president, and Ed Rankin, cashier; grocery, L. R. Masters 
& Co.; lumber, E. A. Riley; hotel, James Gibson; garage, livery, 
creamery, churches, schools, newspaper, "The Mirror," by H. W. Hen- 
drick, and all other, lines necessary to make a good, pleasant place in 
^^■hich to live or engage in business. 


By AA'. C. Snodgrass. 

I purpose to write a short history of Walnut township from the 
time of the red man and buffalo to the present time. This will cover 
a period of half a century, from 1866 to 1916. The facts narrated will 
be those gleaned from the storehouse of memories, personal experiences 
and observations of those still living who helped to make that history. 

And we feel sure that our short record of our little garden spot of 
thirty-six square miles of God's footstool, with its thorns, thistles and 
flowers will show that our people have a right to be proud of their 
achievements. They have developed to a rich fruition in this part of the 
Master's vineyard. We have made the "two blades of grass grow where 
only one grew before." We have done this in spite of drought, hot 
winds, storms, floods, grasshoppers, chintz bugs, elephant bugs, the 
"rain maker" and his fuse, and the politician. 

The chintz bug eats the farmer's grain. 
The bee moth spoils his honey. 
The bed bug fills him full of pain. 
And the humbug gets his money. 

Walnut township was formed out of that part of the public domain 
known as the "Twenty Mile Strip." It was ceded to the general gov- 
ernment by the Osage Indians on September 19, 1865. This land was 
known legally as the Osage Trust Lands. It was surveyed and opened 
up to settlement by the government a year or two later at $1.25 per 
acre. Each settler could take not to exceed 160 acres. He had to live 
on his land at least six months and make certain improvements, in the 
way of breaking of the prairie and buildings. 

At first, August 23, 1867, Walnut township, by act of the board of 
county commissioners, comprised a stri]) across the south part of the 
county sixteen miles wide. At the election, November 5, 1867, Peter 
Harpool was elected justice of the peace. lie received seven votes. 
Benton Kramer was elected constable willi se\ en \otes. Harpool was 



club-footed, but much of a man physically. It was currentl}' reported 
tliat when he fought he got on his knees. He had for his homestead 
tne northeast 3-29-4. It is now owned by Elroy \\^arner, Avho has a 
fine residence where Peter had his cabin. 

This cabin was unusually far from the timber. It was out on the 
prairie nearly a half mile from the river — Little Walnut. Dave 
Kramer, a brother of Bent, owned the quarter west of Harpool's and 
"put on style" by building a two-story box house. The house fell down 
about five years ago and was moved off by the present owner of the 
land, ^I. T. ]\Iinor. The yard fence (hedge) was grubbed up last winter 
{1915) by AI. J. Philips and \^ance Glaze. Thus disappeared one of the 
ancient landmarks. Charlie Durham (deceased), of Douglass, narrated 
that it was at this house they held, on Saturday night of each week, 
one of a series of dances, commencing at Bill Groves', below Rock, 
Cowley county. He said the "gents" were always fully booted, spurred 
and armed with the regulation "six-shooters." The ladies were very 
beautiful and buxom, but not too timid or shy. Many of them afterward 
became the wives of the pioneers. Some of their offspring live in A\'al- 
nut township today. Benton Kramer "proved up" on a claim at the 
mouth of Hickory creek and sold it to N. M. A. ^^'ithrow, whose 
widow, Alary A. Withrow, still owns it. 

The first township election was held in April, 1868. The township 
elections were held then in the spring instead of as now at the time of 
the general elections in November. At this election William H. Edsell 
was elected trustee; John Fetterman, clerk; J. W. Crawford, treasurer. 
Edsell owned the southeast 26-28-4, now owned by Schoeb. 

On March 11, 1873, a petition to organize ^^'alnut City township, 
comprising the territory known as town 28, range 4, east, was granted. 
The election to be held in Walnut City. At this election, April, 1873, 
William Potter was elected trustee; M. C. Robbins, treasurer; Thomas 
Purcell, clerk ; W. S. AX'aters and John C. Riley, justices of the peace, 
and A. J. Hughes and J. P. Bare, constables. On July 8, 1873, a petition 
to change the name of Walnut City township to Walnut, striking out 
the word city, was granted by the board of county commissioners. 

Thus the civil, or municipal, township of Walnut as now known 
and remembered by the oldest residents, became identical with the 
congressional township legally described as township 28 south, range 4 
east. It is of this six miles square of territory I write. From the time 
of the organization of the. township in March, 1873, we have a fairly 
complete book record of the official business of the township. Part of 
the old first set of township record books are still in use and show many 
names of old residents who "did the township business" for Walnut. 
It is not as big a territory as Europe and its story possibly not as big 
a theme. But its people have had their trials and tribulations, too. A 
Kansas township is probably the most striking miniature example of a 
representative democracy. 


The township is an untluhiting prairie with a general slope to the 
sduth. In the spring, when it is covered with its carpet of green, it is 
a beautiful sight. Sunshine and shadow flitting over the prairie, before 
the coming of the unkept and unsightly hedge and barljed wire fences, 
was a sight to fill one with delight and emotion. It resembled the waves 
of the ocean. There are three streams crossing the township. The Big 
Walnut crosses it from north to south, on an average of about a mile 
west of the center. The valley is probably a mile wide and is very 
fertile. Little Walnut crosses the southeast corner of the township 
from northeast to southwest. The valley land will average a half mile 
in width. Four Alile Creek flows into the Big Walnut. The valley is 
rich and productive. The streams are all fringed with timber, v/hich 
was muc'i used by the early settlers for building purposes; but now 
only for fire wood and fence posts. Walnut logs are still shipped out 
to Eastern markets. Between the valleys of these streams and the up- 
land there is generally an outcropping, or ledge, of limestone. It is good 
building material and good railroad ballast. There has been a large rail- 
road rock crusher operated in the township for several years. There 
are very few good springs in the township. Probably one should be 
mentioned. It is on the southeast 35-28-4. The place is now owned by 
G. W. Brooks, who takes great interest in his spring and his fine garden 
he raises every year along the spring branch. This garden is becoming 
abriost a neighborhood affair,- owing to tUe great generosity of Mr. 
Ijrooks. Air. Brooks has installed a hydraulic ram for water power for 
his house. 

It is very probable that the buffalo and the Indian left Walnut 
township about the same time. The buffalo very likely went in 1864 
and 1865. The Indian followed in a year or two, 1865 and 1866. Ob- 
servations made in 1869 and 1870 warrant these conclusions. There 
were numerous buffalo horns and bones in a good state of preservation 
to be picked up on the "buffalo wallers," alkali spots where the buffalo 
would go to salt themselves. There were forks, poles, bark and some 
cooking utensils to be found where the Indian's wigwam was on the 
south side of the northeast quarter of section 35-28-4. The large elm 
trees had the bark peeled as high as a man could reach from one side 
of the tree, but never clear around. The Indian must have lo\ed trees. 
The line of cutting was regular and V-shaped. So it must have been cut 
by cross licks with a tomahawk. Where this wigwam stood was a 
patch of ground of three or four acres which was cultivated and en- 
closed by a log fence, something on the style of the old "staked and 
ridered" fence. The river helped to enclose the patch of low ground, 
which was entirely surrounded by timber. This little patch of rich low 
groinid is still known as the "Indiau field." Straggling Indian trappers 
were frequently met with in i8r)S, 1869 and 1870. The ])i()neers relate 
many incidents of their experiences in meeting these roving hunters and 
tra]">pers. Sometimes both Indian and pioneer were surprised. 


The pioneer, "One who goes before to remove obstructions or pre- 
pare the way for another," came in 1866, 1867, 1868 and 1869, to bid 
the Indian ooodbve. He came from the East North and South. He 
cut the trees, no,t the bark, and replaced the wigwam with the log cabin. 
Like the Indian, he built his hut in or near the timber along the river, 
often near the little "Indian field.'' He was not yet ready or prepared 
to turn the prairie sod. He planted his Indian field to corn and looked 
after his game. Game, such as deer, antelope, turkey, prairie chicken, 
email and other varieties common today, were very plentiful. Fish were 
fine and plentiful and could be seen in the streams much plainer than 
now. The streams were clearer because the rains did not carry the soil 
hen. as now, into them. There are a few, very few, of these pioneers 
still living in Butler county and still owning their homesteads. . But 
most of them, like the buffalo and Indians, have wandered away to 
other fields. Those who are left can tell many rich and interesting ex- 
periences. I hope many of them will contribute their experiences to the 
Butler County Histor}-. 

Probably the two oldest pioneers, in point of settlement, who still 
own their old homes in Walnut township are George W. Long and Mrs. 
Lou Kirkpatrick. They both now live in Augusta. Mr. Long settled 
on the Big Walnut in 1867 and doubtless knew all the pioneers of ^^"al- 
nut township. He helped Louis Booth to build his cabin, just south- 
Vv^est of where Gordon now is, in 1867. Mrs. Kirkpatrick is a daughter 
of "Un.cie" Billy Black, who settled with his famih^ of boys and girls 
on what is now known as the Blood land. It is just west of Gordon on 
the Big Walnut. "X'ncle Billy" (William Craft Black) came to Walnut 
township v.'ith his family in the spring of 1868. Some of his sons and 
daughters were then married and had families. His children were Tom, 
Dave, Mrs. Andy Crawford, Sarah J., Lou, Abe, Willie and Crit. He 
and two sons and one daughter took four cjuarters of land on the Big 
Walnut, just west of Gordon. It was then, and is now, the finest body 
of land in Walnut township. It is now the most valuable section of 
land in Butler county, maybe, cities not counted, in Kansas. This "big 
hearted pioneer" and good man, who was striving for his children, lost 
his worldly inheritance — land — b}' that noble virtue of goodness. His 
friends (?) played him false. They became rich. He became poor. He 
lost all, except his energy and determination to labor and strive on 
honorably to the end. Surely history does repeat itself; but I am not 
allowed the space here to repeat the old, old story of Lazarus and Dives. 

Louis Booth and George Booth built their cabin on the west, south- 
east and southwest of 28-28-4. This land is still known as the Booth 
place by the old settlers. It is also spoken of as the Cox farm. In No- 
vember, 1870, "Judge Lynch" decided that the Booths, Jim Smith (Gil- 
pin) and Jack Corbin were undesirable citizens. So they were convicted 
and executed. Smith was shot at a ford in the middle of Little Walnut, 
just northeast of Douglass, called the "Slayton ford." Corbin and the 


Booths were taken from the Booth cabin, and a little way from the 
cabin Corbin was hung and the Booths were shot. Some say the four 
(Smith, Corbin, George Booth and Louis Booth) were all buried on 
what is now the Hayes farm, about a quarter of a mile southwest of 
the Gordon depot. Airs. L. Kirkpatrick, who attended the burial, gives 
a very interesting narrative of the affair. She says the four bodies were 
buried in four home-made coffins in tAvo graves — the two Booth brothers 
in one and Corbin and Smith in the other. Another report is that Louis 
Booth's wife took his remains to Emporia for interment. There was 
great excitement and much bitter feeling over this lynching for several 

George B. Green was one of the pioneers who settled on the north- 
east cjuarter 35-28-4 on the Little Walnut. Green settled here in 1867 
or 1868. He bought out a Dutchman who had lost three children here 
and became dissatisfied. The children were buried a little distance east 
of the cabin under a spreading oak tree, near the center of what is now 
called the "Cabin Field.'' The graves were enclosed by a rail pen. 
Afterward the tree fell down. In the clear up the brush and rail pen 
were burned, and all traces of the graves were lost. Green was an ex- 
Confederate soldier, but he never told it in the "John Brown State" 
until he met some Southern "sympathizers." He considered discretion 
the better part of valor. He sold his place to W. J. Snodgrass in 
October, 1869, giving a warranty deed November 17th, acknowledged 
before C. H. Lamb, justice of the peace. It was recorded by W. A. 
Sallee, register of deeds. The patent was issued November i, 1870, by 
the United States government. U. S. Grant signed the patent as 
President of the L^nited States. The number of the patent is 189; 
probably it was the first quarter of land deeded in the township. It has 
very likely paid more taxes than any other one hundred and sixty acres 
in the township. Green went to Thirty Mile Strip and got a nicer place 
than the one he sold. From the appearance of the Broke land and the 
improvements, the Dutchman must have settled this quarter in 1866 or 
1867. AV. J. Snodgrass was both pioneer and early settler. In the fall 
of 1869 he with two companions, James Yowell and Dr. Beauford 
Averitt, landed at Abilene, Kansas, from Marion county, Kentucky. 
They bought three ponies, saddles and bridles and struck out to the 
southeast. The first place they stopped at in Walnut was at Dave 
Black's, with whom the}- stayed all night. They met Green the same 
day they stopped at Black's, who told them he wanted to sell his place. 
So the next day they went over to see him and stayed all night with 
him. On account of the fertility of the soil and abundance of timber, 
one hundred acres, they all liked the place very much, and Snodgrass 
bought the place for $1,250. Future events proved the wisdom of the 
purchase. During the hard times of the early seventies, when U. S. 
Grant was President, Snodgrass at one time sold the saw timber for 
$1,500 and had the tops or laps left, which were cut into cord wood and 


sold to school districts and prairie settlers for fire wood. And wood 
posts, fire wood and walnut logs have been sold off this quarter of 
land from 1870 to 1916. Snodgrass went back to Kentuckq, sold out 
and moved his family here in the summer of 1870. He came by way of 
boat from Louisville to Kansas City. From Kansas City he came by 
teams and wagons. The first man he got acquainted with in Butler 
county on this move was L'ncle John Teeters. Teeters was much at- 
tracted by a fine horse, and when he learned that Snodgrass was a 
Kentuckian he would have him go by and camp at his place. Teeters 
was a Virginian. And the gratitude of the Kentuckian has never for- 
gotten the unbounded hospitality of the \'irginian. 

Snodgrass found it hard picking in the early days. A\'ith a wife, six 
small children, two nieces and a nephew, it kept a fellow stirring and 
thinking. Bacon at thirty-six cents per pound and money at thirty-six 
per cent, were two hard propositions to face. Shakespeare wrote of 
Shylock. Snodgrass once, in moments of desperation, after giving up 
thirty-six per cent., wrote the following epitaph for the early banker : 

"Here lies thirty-six per cent., 
The more he got the more he lent. 
The more he got the more he craved. 
Great God ! can such a man be saved ? 

Soon after, in 1872 and 1873, i-i"der the hero Grant, he was selling 
fat cows at $12.00 and $14.00. Of course, he cjuit eating bacon and 
shortened the biscuits with tallow. He moved into the cabin on June 
27, 1870. He went to work and got out saw logs, hauled them to the 
mill and sawed lumber for a frame house, which he erected on north 2, 
south 2, northwest 35-28-4. This eighty acres and the one north, south 
2, southwest 26-28-4, '^'^'ss his homestead. The carpenters induced him 
to sell his native finishing lumber and go to Emporia and 1)U}' pine. 
So this house was built of native frame and pine finishing lumber. The 
oak sills were hewn by hand. This was the first frame residence built 
in A\"alnut township. The Snodgrass family moved into it on Novem- 
ber 2'j, 1870. The family here grew from six to eleven children. Mr. 
Snodgrass has always taken great pride in fine stock. He brought some 
good horses here with him. He soon brought in thoroughbred Berkshire 
hogs. He has handled fine sheep quite extensively. For many years 
he owned and exhibited at the State and Oklahoma fairs one of the 
finest Shorthorn herds of the State. He sold them at A\'ichita in Feb- 
ruar}-, 1907. Old age and poor health compelled him to quit the live 
stock business. There is not much question but what he has i:)aid more 
taxes than any man. living or dead, in AA'alnut township. He has never 
asked for nor held a public salaried office in Kansas. The township 
records show that he has never drawn a cent of the public monev, al- 
though he paid much of it into the till. He has always been a taxpayer. 


never a tax eater. He still lives on the place he homesteaded. It is 
one of the very few homesteads of Walnut that the mortgage, grass- 
hoppers or taxes didn't get. 

While the early settler was striving to huild his home and to feed, 
clothe and shelter his children, he did not neglect to provide for their 
education. He realized that a trained mind /was a necessary corollary 
of a robust physical manhood. So he began to organize districts "and to 
build school houses. Probably the first school taught in the township 
was taught by ]\Iiss Jennie Blakey, and the second by Miss Alice 
Yowell, in 1872. These two terms were taught in a "claim house." 
This was the house built by James Yowell across the line to hold two 
claims — the northwest cpiarter of 35 and the northeast of 34. The house 
wa's long enough for two rooms, but the partition was never put in. 
It was used for a school house and church. The first preliminary 
meetings for organizing District 64 and building the school house were 
held in this house and at the residence of W. J. Snodgrass. Some 
wanted to build by subscription, some by voting bonds. The bond idea 
carried. So our District 64 school house was built of native frame lum- 
ber and pine finishing lumber, in 1873. There was a preacher on the 
school board and he planned to dedicate the new school house with one 
of his masterful sermons and a big meeting. The young worldly patrons 
planned very differently. They wanted a jolly good dance. The car- 
penter, J. C. Mitchell, who was an Englishman and a bachelor, held the 
keys to the house. He lived in a dug-out a quarter of a mile from the 
school house. So the young worldly minded patrons, or rather a few 
young men, representatives of theirs, went to Mitchell's dug-out and 
boosted James D. Yowell, a small boy, through the window and had 
him to get the keys out of the bachelor's pockets. With these they pro- 
ceeded to the school house, to open up and let the throng, assembled 
from ten miles around, in. The crowd, gents and ladies, fiddler and 
callers, were all ready. The only necessary preliminaries — opening the 
door — being over, the dance commenced at once. And it was hilarious 
from start to finish. At one time they thought they heard the deacon 
and board coming; but some brave Apollo shouted: 

On with the dance ! let joy be unconfined. 
It is not the cannon's opening roar. 
It is but our gay light hearted Guyot. 
Shouting and tripping the light fantastic toe. 

Salute your partner, first to the right, next to the left, and then to 
the one which you like best. All swing and promenade and rest. Some 
wanted to "'schottische." some to "waltz." some to "heal and toe." some 
to "Virginia reel" and some the "square," but the church member girls 
said Dan Tucker or Weevily Wheat. So some guy. who was sweet on 
one of the church girls, started u]) : 


"Come down this way with your "Weevily AVheat," 
Come down this way with your barley, 
Come down this way with your "Weeyily Wheat" 
And bake a cake for CharHe. 
Oh ! Charlie he's a lovely lad, 
Oh ! Charlie he's a dandy, 
Oh ! Charlie he's a lovely lad 
Who feeds those girls on candy. ' . . 

We won't have none of your "Weevily Wheat," 
We won't have none of your barley 
To bake a cake for Charlie. 

Apollo broke forth with : 

Old Dan Tucker, he came from town. 

Saluting" the ladies all around ; 

First to the right, then to the left, 

Then to the one which he likes best. 

Get out of the way for "Old Dan Tucker," 

Get out of the way for "Old Dan Tucker." 

Then some laggard chimed in : "Shoot the buffalo," but he was 
quickly squelched in the general shout of, "Let us have the square and 
the good old swing." And so the "die was cast," and the Rubicon was 
crossed and the landing made at early da3^break. The revelers all went 
home singing: 

"\\'e danced all night and a hole in the stocking; 
We danced all night and the heel kept a rocking." - 

There was much talk of prosecutions for desecrating the school 
house. The preacher never preached in it. He said, "The devil got in 
before the Lord." But the deacon felt different about his wife. He was 
perfectly willing and, in fact, helped to hire her, at an exhorbitant price, 
to teach in this habitation of "Satan." No wonder this school house 
was named "Tempest." It is too early in time to speak of the tragedies 
which have happened at "Tempest." It might cause the Innocents to 
suffer. It might cause even the "Rocks of Rome to arise and mutiny." 
I will not speak of some of the teachers of bad character who were 
imposed on the children of this school, through spite. The old school 
house still stands, but now a half mile northeast of where it was built 
in the northwest corner of the southeast 26-28-4. 

There was much talk of railroads in the seventies; but it did not 
seem to take much tangible form until the early eighties. On April 24, 
C. H. Kurtz was paid for printing railroad proposition and election 
proclamation of February 21, 1880, $15.00. W\ H. H. Adams, G. W. 


Long and John Van Arsdell, judges ; W. H. Curry and J. L. Van x\rsdell 
were clerks at this election. This was for the St. Louis & San Francisco 
Railroad Company. On March 8, this railroad company paid into the 
township treasury, $30.00 for expenses of said election. They acted 
very "white." 

The story of the present Santa Fe is entirely different. The town- 
ship has "had it" with them from start to finish. It is too much to tell 
in detail. I will mention a few things. On February i, 1880, there was 
an election held to vote $10,000 in bonds for $10,000 worth of stock in 
the F. E. W. V. railroad. The proposition lost. It was either a tie or 
defeat. On April 12, 1881, they tried it again. And the old settlers say 
that with some bribed votes the proposition carried by three or four 
votes. The township talked of contesting, but did not. In August of 
The same year the "wise ones" came down to the township and told 
them how likely the township was to get in bad by holding stock in a 
railroad that would go into the hands of a receiver. But the railroad 
would be good to them and take the stock off of their hands. So the 
township board had the township treasurer to make the following entry : 
"Aug. 9, 1881 ; Rec'd of the F. E. W. V. R. R. Co. for Ten Thousand 
Dollars' worth of Stock in said R. R. the sum of $1.00. July 30th, 1881 ; 
C. H. Kutrz for printing R. R. Prop, of Apr. 12, 1881, $25.00. W. H. H. 
Adams, Trustee, J. K. Carr, Treas, and Jas L. VanArsdell, clerk, were 
the township board at this time. In the latter part of 1883. or the early 
part of 1884, the railroad moved away the depot. The township in- 
stituted suit. The township record of January 26, 1884, shows the fol- 
lowing entries: Paid $15.00 to T. O. Shinn to deposit in court, $15.00; 
paid to T. O. Shinn and Leland, $50.00; paid to W. H. H. Adams for 
attending to railroad suit, $15.00; paid to T. O. Shinn, $200. The town- 
ship won. The railroad paid the cost of the suit and put up another 
depot. Afterwards, about 1888, the railroad started to close the depot. 
The township was ready for another suit, so they did not close it. 

Our railroad bonds were "twenty thirties." That is, the}' could be 
paid in twenty years, but could not run longer than thirty years. They 
drew seven per cent. So the yearly interest for our township was 
$700.00. This, for many years, was about twice all our other expenses. 
It is a problem what these bonds did cost us. If they had all been paid 
(which they were not) at the end of twenty years, the interest would 
have amounted to $14,000. The principal and interest would have been 
$24,000. On June 30, 1900, some bond refunding attorneys from Topeka 
rounded up our township board into a "special meeting" and got them 
to "refund" our "outstanding bonds." They "showed" the board what 
a "good deal" it would be to give up the old seven per cent bonds and 
issue new four and a half per cent bonds. They never mentioned it to 
the board that the township had the right to pay off all these bonds the 
next year — 1901. So the board took the "bait" and agreed to pay $1,800 
for the deal. 


The succeeding township board. E. B. Alexander trustee, W. H. 
Dare clerk, and A\\ C. Snodgrass treasurer, employed a lawyer and 
busted the deal, to the great chagrin of the bond attorneys. There was 
one bond holder who tried to hold on to his good seven per cent. 
He contended that our county treasurer did not get the money to the 
fiscal agency in New York in time. This contention ran on for 
several years. I think it was just $500 bond. The board employed an 
attorney w'ho got it settled without a law suit. I think it was a wise 
suggestion that township boards should be leery of special meetings. 
The machinations and assiduous cries of these public-spirited, patriotic 
promoters will often hypnotize the most sagacious board. 

The progress and prosperity of the township has Ijeen marked, 
steady and incessant. Some of our land has risen in value from $1.25 
to $1000 per acre. The slow patient ox, wdio turned the first sod and 
hauled the first house and first food, has been replaced with the draft 
horse, the standard bred, the motor car and the automobile. The few 
little fields of corn, wheat and potatoes have been multiplied into many 
large ones of these cereals, and kafir. alfalfa, cane, milo maize, sweet 
clover, etc. The Longhorn has given way to the Shorthorn ; the 
broncho to the thoroughbred ; the razorback to the pure bred. The hen 
has made her respectful bow to the incubator and gone off to scratch 
for more worms and to lay more eggs. The farmer does not pick dol- 
lars off of trees. He gathers them up after the hens. The little honey 
bee has been helped, too, with foundation comb. The weekly mail, 
carried by your neighbors when they thought of it, now comes every 
day to your door. The telephone is in ever}- house. It connects you 
with the telegraph and all parts of the habitable world. The phono- 
graph gives you in your owm homes, music, orations, operas, band con- 
certs, and sings the baby to sleep. Where E. A. Cease could count, 
from his house to the center of ^^"alnut township, his hundred head of 
cattle grazing on the prairie, his grandson. H. E. Cease, can now, from 
the same spot, see the first oil well brought in in Butler county and 
count one hundred oil and gas wells. 

And mother earth has just begun to give us from her bow^els her 
hidden wealth. This new Eureka has made some farmers rich over 
night. It is like the story of Aladdin and his lamp. These farmers 
have rented their farms and moved to town, where they can rest on the 
shady side and give their children better educational advantages. 
Space forbids a detailed oil and gas history of AA'alnut township. Oil and 
gas men claim that it is the richest pool in the State. Every farmer 
in the township feels that he has plenty of oil and gas on his farm. 

The boom has filled our township with strangers. It seems to 
have opened new springs of energy and action. Instead of talking 
weather, crops, live stock, etc., they talk oil, gas, wells, deep tests, 
Mississippi lime, tanks, pipe lines., etc. And the speculators, pro- 
moters and townsite men are here. Our town Gordon is to have an 


addition — ''Gordon Heights" — and is destined to become a city. Even 
the railroad no longer wants to move out. It is taking on new life and 
bustle. It is changing and improving the station and putting in more 
trackage. It has also put on an extra passenger train each way. 

I hope the readers of this brief history of Walnut township will 
find some pleasure and satisfaction in its perusal. If they do I will 
feel amply rewarded for my effort, then, both reader and writer will 
be happy. Where two souls beat in sympath}^ and unison, there is a 
feast of reason and flow of soul that makes the whole world akin. 
So, without apology, vain regrets are useless repining, I submit this to 
your lenient and charitable consideration. 








Politics, modern politics, as such, were an unknown commodity (I 
use the word advisedly) in the early settlement of Butler county. 
Elections coming on and being held soon after the close of the war, 
men, on both sides, were apt to vote as "they shot," or as with the side 
with which they were in sympathy during the war. There being at 
this time but two political parties, the Republican and Democratic, and 
a majority of the early settlers, having as a rule' come from the North- 
ern and Eastern States, their sympathies were naturally with the North- 
ern army, consequently, the vote was in favor of the Republicans and 
remained so for many years, during which time a nomination on the 
Republican ticket was equal to an election. While this was true, yet 
the men of those days were true Kansans, and recognized the right 
of their neighbors to think and vote as their conscience dictated, and 
as they believed to be right, and ver}^ seldom was the question of 
political preference made a personal one. Of course, then as now, they 
probably thought it strange that such a good neighbor should show 
such poor judgment as to vote a different ticket from what they them- 
selves did ; but they continued to loan and borrow from each other and 
help each other in every way possible, notwithstanding their differences 
in political faith. Argue and talk politics? Certainly at times argu- 
ments and talk ending then, as now, each more than ever convinced of 
his own opinions and the blindness of his neighbor. Of course, they 
went to the polls, attended the election, and voted as though upon their 
ballot depended the result of the election, and returned to their 
homes with a consciousness of having done their duty. They were not 
here for political purposes or for amusement ; theirs, the more serious 



business of life, establishing" homes, taming the prairies, and looking 
after the welfare and comfort of those depending upon them. The day 
of the political philosopher had not yet arrived. The man with the 
elongated neck, which had haired over and which he used for, or in lieu 
of, a head, had not yet entered upon the business of saving the country 
or instructing the sovereign squats how to vote, but he was in embryo 
and in due time came forth to enlighten the voter. 

One of the earliest items in Butler county's political history was 
the apportionment of the State into judicial districts. Butler, Hunter, 
Greenwood, Madison, Weller, Coffey. Anderson and Allen constituted 
the thirteenth district. The number of the judicial district of which 
Butler county has formed a part has been changed several times since 
that time, but is today a part of the thirteenth district. In August, 
1857, Samuel L. Addie was elected from the above territory to the 
Territorial Senate, and C. Columbia to the House. In October, 1857, 
IMadison and Butler polled sixty-nine free state and seven democratic 
votes. In December, 1857, an election was held under the Lecompton 
Constitution, but no return was made from Butler countv. lu JNIarch, 
1857, Samuel Stewart was elected delegate to the Minneola convention, 
and in August, 1858, an election Avas held at the old El Dorado tov/n 
site on the Lecompton Constitution. The entire vote (twenty-three) 
polled was cast against this infamous plantform. In April, 1859, there 
w^ere cast in Butler county, fifteen votes for the Wyandotte Constitu- 
tion and two against it. On November 8, 1859, there were forty-eight 
votes cast for Congressman, Perrott, Republican, receiving forty-seven, 
and Johnson, Democrat, receiving one. J. C. Lambdin was elected 
member of the Territorial Council at the same election. In May, 1858, 
an election was held in Butler county on the adoption of the Free State 
Constitution. The election was held north of Chelsea, under some 
spreading oak, still standing between the Buchanan and McDaniels 
farms. No box could be found out of which a ballot box could be made. 
A big coffee mill was furnished by Mrs. Woodruff. This had a drawer 
which was drawm out and the ballots put in and the drawer closed until 
the next vote was ready to be deposited. About one hundred votes 
were cast. The first session of the Legislature after admission as a 
State was convened IVIarch 26, 1861. Butler county was represented by 
P- G. D. Morton, of Chelsea, then the county seat. J. R. Lambdin, of 
Chelsea, was journal clerk of the House. The only State officers fur- 
nished Butler county, in so far as I remember, was W . H. Biddle, State 
Treasurer, and AV. F. Benson, the present Bank Commissioner of the 

Butler county has been very fortunate in the selection of its county 
officers, Avith perhaps two or three exceptions. Each and every officer 
has endeavored to perform the duties rec(uired of him, and all have 
left their offices, at the close of their respective terms retaining the con- 
fidence and respect of their people. Two officers, in the years that are 


past, holding" clerical position and very similar in their tastes, physical 
and moral makeup, weak in will power, but thirsting after the flesh 
pots of Egypt, were accused of betraying the trust placed apon them 
and left the county for the county's good. One was unsuccessfully prose- 
cuted and the other left his bondsmen to make good his deficits. Both 
are now deceased. These were the only ones that were caught. There 
is one other circumstance connected with one of the county officers 
that deserves mention, that of the county treasurer, Archibald Ellis, 
the father of our esteemed citizens, John Ellis and Mrs. M. B. Cogges- 
hall. At the close of his term as treasurer in 1873, upon a settlement 
with the board of county commissioners, preparatory to turning his 
office over to his successor, Joseph Williams, they found there was due 
to the county a certain sum of money, upon which he asked them if 
they were sure that it was the amount due, and if they would be satis- 
fied with that sum. They replied that was all they were entitled to. 
He gave them the amount asked for and then added the sum of about 
$3,400, saying that amount was then in the office ; it did not belong to 
him, but to the county, and demanded that they receive it, which they 
finally did. They gave him a receipt therefor, but were unable to tell 
afterwards where it came from or belonged. As a matter of fact, that 
same $3,400 became a part of the funds out of which the present court 
house was constructed. Had Diogenese been in search here for an 
honest man he could have dispensed with his lantern. 

The first recorded election was held November i, 1863. The num- 
ber of votes is not given, but the following were declared to have re- 
ceived the highest number of votes cast: Robert Crozier, chief justice; 
A. L. Howard, district attorney ; G. T. Donaldson, representative ; 
Henry Martin, probate judge; J. T. Goodall, sheriff; M. Vaught, county 
clerk and registrar of deeds; T. W. Satchell, county treasurer; Judson 
Mabe, county assessor; H. G. Branson, D. Lewellyn, S. P. Johnson,, 
county commissioners; Henry Martin, S. P. Myers, justices of the 
peace; C. C. Pratt, John B. Johnson, constables. 

Township -Officers. — April 5, 1864: Samuel Fulton, justice of the 
peace ; John Lawton, Silas T. Howell, constables ; William Townsley, 
trustee ; C. L. Chandler, overseer. There is no record of any Presiden- 
tial election in 1864, but on November 4, 1865, the following officers 
were elected : M. Stubbs, state Senator ; D. L. McCabe, representative. 
The first vote for Governor was cast on November 6, 1866, with the fol- 
lowing results : Samuel J. Crawford, Republican, sixty-one votes ; J. S. 
McDowell, Democrat, twenty-six votes. Samuel J. Crawford was the 
father of the present Mrs. Arthur Capper. In November, 1872, the fol- 
lowing electoral votes were cast for President : U. S. Grant, Republi- 
can, 983 ; Horace Greeley, Liberal Republican and Democrat, 486. Up 
to this time no convention or called meeting of the voters had been held. 
The names of the parties for whom votes had been cast were placed 
upon the ballots by some one suggesting them, sort of windfalls or 


hand-picked, or by a few accepting or assuming the responsibility of 
leadership of certain factions and advising their followers to vote as 
directed and as they themselves did. The question then upon which 
the people differed related to the division of the county and the re- 
moval of the county seat. There were tpiestions of business, rather 
than of politics and all that the records of the county show in relation 
thereto are set forth in another portion of this work. 

During the summer and fall of 1873, a mass convention of the 
people was called, at whose suggestion it is now unknown, but it is 
stated on good authority that the first public suggestion came from J. 
R. AVard and \A'. IT. Litson, of Benton township, they giving as a reason 
that the farmer of the county was being overlooked in the distribution 
of official patronage. Someone requested that the same be done, to 
meet at the Sutton llranch school house, about three miles southwest 
of El Dorado. There may have been, and undobutedly were, some 
politicians there, but no politics ; they were there to do, on the surface, 
at least, what was for the best interest of the county and to nominate 
candidates for different county offices, including a representative to 
the X-egislature. Never having seen a convention of this or any other 
kind, nor even having heard of one, the writer attended, but took no 
part th-erein, and some of the things which happened are very well re- 
membered. The men were practically all strangers to me, but I now 
recall that among them I met for the first time, Capt. M. Guinty, of 
northwest Butler, v\dio came down from his old claim, which he still 
owns; Dr. H. D. Hill, of Augusta; Major Joe L. Ferguson, of Spring- 
township ; J. E. Anderson, afterward sheriff ; Uncle Joe Williams, Vin- 
cent Brown and many others. I have no recollection wdio the officers of 
the convention were, but peace and harmony appeared to prevail and the 
ticket they nominated was all elected, as I now remember. 

Some one placed the name of Major Joe L. Ferguson in nomination 
for the legislature. The motion was seconded and he was nominated 
practically without opposition, and upon being called for, came forward 
and said: "Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the convention, I am 
deeply grateful and more than appreciate the" honor you have attempted 
to confer upon me. I would esteem it as one of the greatest privileges 
and one of the proudest acts of my life to represent this great county 
of Butler in the legislattu'e of the State; but, gentlemen, while it may 
be somewhat humiliating for me to say so, yet for financial reasons, 
strong ones, believe me, I am compelled to decline the honor. I am 
simply so poor you could not hear me walk through dry leaves." His 
decision was final and Dr. H. D. Hill was nominated in his stead and 
was elected. The balance of the ticket nominated was as follows: 
Joseph Williams, county treasurer ; D. L. Knowles, register of deeds ; 
James E. .x\nderson, sheriff; Vincent Brown, count}' clerk; J. W 
Weimer, surveyor ; William Snyder, coroner ; J. A. McGinnis, county 
commissioner first district; E. B. IJrainard. countv commissioner, secc^nd 


district ; E. W. Clifford, county commissioner, third district. Some one 
cut a plug" of "Battle Ax ;" Uncle Jimmy Anderson handed a box of 
"see-gars'" in through the window, an outsider opened a bucket of water 
and the meeting adjourned. Of course, there was opposition to this 
ticket, but it was so divided that the result was the election as above. 

The first political convention for the nomination of candidates for 
for the various offices was called and held in the summer of 1875 by 
the Republican party, followed by the Democratic and other parties 
up to the year 1882, when the primary, or, as it was called, "The Craw- 
ford County System," was adopted. This manner or rule of making 
nominations remained in vogue until 1888, when the people became 
dissatisfied with that system, claiming, and with good grounds there- 
for, that all nominations were given to the parties living in the cities, 
and that the rural districts were not getting their share of the offices ; 
that the acquaintance of the city candidate with the voter of the county 
over his country competitor gave him too great an advantage, and the 
convention system was again adopted and remained until the law pro- 
vided for the primary system of rnaking nominations. 

The first party to put a ticket in the field in opposition to the Re- 
publican and Democratic parties was the Greenback party in '1881, 
their principal candidates being A\^ P. Flenner for county clerk and 
O. Council for register of deeds. They polled in this election about 
twelve per cent, of the entire vote cast and remained in the political 
field to a greater or less extent until after the election of 1887. 

In the year 1888, in addition to the two old parties, there was 
offered to' the voters an opportunity to vote for candidates on the 
Union Labor or the Prohibition tickets. These parties carried tickets 
during that and the following year, 1889, \yhen the Union Labor party 
dropped out. The Prohibitionists remain to some extent, at least, until 
the present time. Then came the Alliance, Populist or Peoples party 
in 1890. 

Some one, said to be from one of the Southern States, came into 
the county organizing the farmers into the Farmers' Alliance, and it 
was currently reported, while on his mission, he dropped or left a little 
of the political leaven, leaven and a half or joeradventure leaven and 
three-quarters of Populism. However, this may be, it was something 
that worked, worked day and night. Sundays and week days ; sun- 
shine or storm, it worked, always worked, active, diligent and perse- 
vering; still it worked, the most infectious, contagious, epidemic ever 
known to mankind. The whole body politic became infected. Demo- 
crats disappeared without a struggle, disappeared as does the pump- 
kin pie in the maw of a hungry school boy, or as does the hobo when 
offered work. There were scarcely enough Republicans left to make 
a quorum or adjourn a meeting. The movement finally cultimated in 
a stupendous county rally in El Dorado in the fall of 1892, the people 
coming together by common impulse from every village, liamlet and 


farm. In earnest, dead earnest, in their opinion something was wrong, 
radically wrong, with our political system (and who now can say they 
were entirely mistaken), and it became their duty to rectify that wrong, 
the leaven still working, whenever material could be found upon which 
to work. They were to meet on \Yalnut Hill, at the west end of Cen- 
tral avenue to commence their march. They gathered on that day, 
spreading out over the territory between there and Towanda and about 
noon started down the avenue, drums beating, horns tooting, flags and 
streamers flying from vehicles of all kinds and descriptions ; from the 
best in the county to the caricature of the worst of the two old po- 
litical parties; singing, "Goodbye, Old Parties, Goodbye." Still it 
worked and on they came ; came by companies, by regiments, by brig- 
ades, by battalions ; came as a whole army comes, and kept coming. 
A few old-line Democrats stood on the street corners with a sickly 
grin or a diabolical leer on their faces. The Republicans, what were 
left, going into their back rooms, pulling down the blinds and closing 
the doors until driven forth for fresh air, would come out, get a sight 
of the parade, neither end of which could be seen, and go back into 
their holes. And still it worked and still they came. Night alone hid 
them from view. Election time approached with the leaven still work- 
ing, and election day found it doing business at the same old stand and 
in the same old way. The result of the election was forcibly if not 
elegantl}^ expressed by the German, who had caught the contagion and 
when the vote was announced, exclaimed, "Mine Gott, it vas a clean 
schweep," and it was. Everything on the ticket, from top to bottom, 
from head to tail, was People's party. They remained in power and 
continued as a party until about the year 1906, when some of them 
began fusing with the remnant of the Democratic and Republican 
parties, finally disappearing altogether. "Folded up as folds the Jack 
knife when a chaw of plug is cut." 

The Free Silver or Abraham Lincoln Republican party was 
in the field asking for votes during the years 1896 and 1898. The 
Socialist party came in in the fall of 1908 and appeared on the tickets 
until after the election of 1912. Until 1908, the voting was done by 
ballots prepared principally by the candidates for the various offices 
except the name of the opponent of the party having the ticket printed. 
The voter erased all the names but those of his choice. Workers for 
the candidates would appear on the morning of the election with their 
pockets filled with campaign cigars or sometimes a bottle of anti-snake 
bite and put in the day soliciting for the men of his choice or for those 
who had last paid him for his work. His labors consisted of placing a 
ticket in the voters' hands, going with him to the polls, watching him 
deposit the ticket and then give him one of the aforesaid cigars and look 
for another victim. 

Sometimes the worker would be worked by the workee, switching 
tickets on him on the wa>- to the jiolls, taking one alreadv prepared 


out of his vest pocket and voting it instead of the one he was supposed 
to vote, thereby getting" two cigars with his vote. Before the workers 
arrived on the grounds on election day the voter picked up one of the 
many tickets kept for distribution at the place of voting and voted as 
he desired or as he happened to, until word went out that he was not 
being looked after. The same condition applied here, and I presume 
all over the State, that existed at Topeka, Kansas, one election day 
when Chet Thomas rushed up to some of the workers and said, '-'Some 
(if you people get down to the polls right quick. Those fellows are 
voting just as they d please." Of course, there was not any con- 
siderable number of voters to which the above would apply, simply a 
few without any political preference, and were found in all parties. 
The primary law, enacted in 1908, took the "workers' '' goat or job and 
"keen spittin' " tobacco is more in evidence now on election days than 
cigars and booze. 

The last of the new parties to put in an appearance is that of the 
Progressive Republicans in 1914. In this county they elected one man, 
that prince of good fellows and good citizen, A. J. I^lolderman, to the 
Legislature. It is often said that because the people knew, liked and 
respected Jim, he was elected, not because of his politics, but in spite 
of them. 

At the election in 1913, the question of equal suffrage was sub- 
mitted to the people with the following result: For, 2,613; against, 
2,369; majorit}^ for suffrage, 244. This was the second time this ques- 
tion was before the people of this county. The first time it was to 
amend section I of article 5 of the constitution of the State by striking 
therefrom the word "male," which resulted as follows: For the amend- 
ment, twenty-eight votes; against the amendment, seventy-six votes; 
majority against amendant, fifty-eight votes. 

At the last election of county officers, November, 1914, there were 
elected: J. D. Joseph, Democrat, senator; J. M. Satterthwaite, Repub- 
lican, representative; A. J. Holderman, Progressive, representative. Th-e 
county clerk, sheriff, register of deeds, county attorney, clerk of the dis- 
trict court and county surveyor are Republicans. The probate judge, 
treasurer and superintendent of public instruction (the latter without 
oposition), are Democrats, and the coroner is a Progressive. What the 
result of the election of 1916 will be, only the man who can foretell the 
verdict of a petit jury can tell. 


Senators and Represetatives from Butler county from its organiza- 
tion to the present time, with the trend of their political faith as nearly 
as can be ascertained or guessed. R, Republican ; D, Democrat ; A, Alli- 
ance ; F, Fusion ; P, Progressive ; *, Deceased. 




-M. Stnbbs (R) 1865 

-Sam Wood (R) 1867 

*J. M. McMiillen (R) 1868 

*T. R. Mead (R) 1869-70 

*E. S. Stover (R) 1871 

Cameron (R) 1872 

Payne (R) 1873-4 

St. Clair (R) 1875-6 

Murdock (R) . 1877-80-89-93 

W. J. 
*D. L 

H. C. 
*T. B. 

Neil Wilkie ( R) 1881-4 

*A. L. Redden (R) 1885-6 

*]. W. Robison (R) 1887-8 

*A. W. Dennison (A) 1894-5 

T. F. Richardson (R) 1896-7 

W. F. Benson (F. & D) 

1 898- 1 90 1 -4-8 
Fremont Leidy (R) . . 1902-9-5-10 

C. L. Harris (R) 1911 

J. D. Joseph ( D) 1912-16 


*G. T. Donaldson (R) . . . . 1864-5-8 

*D. L. McCabe (R) 1866 

-J. D. Conner (R) 1867 

*T. R. Wilson (R) 1869 

■■^'Henry Small ( R) 1870 

(2)*L. S. Friend (R) 1871 

*T. H. Baker (R) 1871 

*Isaac Mooney (R) 1872 

*J. M. Atwood (R) 1873 

*H. D. Hill (R) 1874-81-82 

*J. L. Ferguson (R) 1875-6 

M. A. Palmer (R) 1877-8 

*H. W. Beck (R) 1877-8 

U. A. Albin (R) 1879-80 

-D. M. Bronson (R) 1879-80 

*G. A. Sears (R) 1881-2 

*I. H. Fullenwider (R) 1883-4 

*F. W. Rash (R) 1883-6 

I. M. Randall (R) 1885-6 

E. D. Stratford (R) 1887-8 

*D. W. Poe (R) 1887-90 

D. M. Elder (R) 1889-90 

O. W. Jones (A) 1891-2 

*John Hartenbower (F ) . . . . 1891-2 

*C. M. Noble (F)..... 1893 

J. M. Satterthwaite (R) 

1894-6- 1 3- 1 6 

Gillispie (F) 1897-8 

Adams (R) 1899-1904 

Betts (F) 1901-2 

Brandon (R) .... 1903-4-7-9 

Brown (D) . . : 1905-6 

Leydig (R) 1907-8 

Cron ( D ) 1909-12 

Maxwell (D) 1909-10 

. Houston (D) 1913-14 

Holderman (P) 1915-16 

















■ J- 



(2) The election of Friend was contested by Baker, in which con- 
test he was successful, on account of fraudulent voting in El Dorado at 
the election and for which one Ottenott was sent to the penitentiary. 
He "Ottenott" have done so. 


With Name of Township Elected Fmrn. 


*P. G. Barrett, Chelsea 1859-60 

*G. T. Donaldson, Chelsea 1859-60 

*J. S. White, Chelsea 1859 


*H. J. Branson, Chelsea. Fall R. Dvn 1860-1-2-3 

*Jacob Landis, Chelsea 1861 

*William Harrison, El Dorado 1861-2-3-4 

^Henderson Thomas, El Dorado 1863 

^Doctor Lewellyn, Chelsea 1864-5-6-7 

- *P. P. Johnson, Chelsea v. . . 1864-66 

*Joseph H. Adams, Towanda 1865-6 

*Squire Stewart. El Dorado 1865-6-7 

*James R. Mead. Towanda 1867 

*A. Ellis, Chelsea 1868-9 

*D. S. Yates. Chelsea 1869 

*S. C. Fulton. Towanda 1868-9-70 

M. A. Palmer. Little AA'alnut 1869-70 

M. Vaught, Chelsea 1870-71 

*B. T. Rice, Benton. .' 1872-3 

Neil AA'ilkie, DougJass 1872-3 

*J. A. jMcGinnis, Hickory 1874-5 

*E. B.-Brainard, iMilton 1874-5 

*E. AV. Clifford, Augusta 1874-5 

*Sol AA'ise, Douglass 1876-7 

*T. A. Baxter, Clifford 1876-7 

*J. T. jMasterson, Douglass 1878 

J. E. AlcCully, Prospect 1878-9 

*AI. Bradley, Fairview 1878 

*A. T. Havens, Douglass 1879-80 

*S. F. Packard, Rosalia ; 1880-81 

G. P. Xeiman, Milton 1879-84-85 

*H. X. Pearse. Chelsea 1881-82 

M. Guinty, Fairmount 1881-82-83 

H. A\'. Hartbower. Douglass 1882-83-84, 

*J. K. Skinner. Sycamore 1883-89 

T. R: Purcell, AA'alnut 1885-86-87 

August Kuster. Augusta 1887-88-89 

*A. O. Rathburn. Douglass 1888-89-00 

*B. H. Fox. Bruno 1890-91-92 

*H. M. Brewer. Union 1891-92-93 

John Ellis. Chelsea 1892-95 

Thos. Ohlsen. ]Murdock 1893-96 

. Lafayette Stone, Richland 1894-97 

J. AA\ Barnes, Rock Creek 1897-1900 

*G. W. Teter, Prospect 1898-1901 

E. L. Snodgrass. Benton 1899-1902 

*B. Broderson, Clay 1900-03 

Sol Anderson. Prospect 1901-08 

*C. H. Bing. LTnion 1903-06 

P. Paulson. Fairmount 1905-08 


W. P. Bradley, El Dorado 1909-12 

AV. J. Houston. Murdock 1909-13 

Geo. Elder, Bloomington 191 1 

M. A. Wait, Towanda 1913 

J. W. Cannon, El Dorado 191 3 


*W. R. Lambdin, (R.), Chelsea i860 

*J. R. Lambdin, (R.), Chelsea i860 

Xo record of the election of either of these parties 

but records are signed by each as county clerk. 

M. Vaught, (R.), Chelsea 1863-64-65 

*A. J. Donahoo, (R.), Chelsea 1866 

*A. H. Moreland, (R.). El Dorado 1866 

*A. H. Marchall, (R.), El Dorado 1867-68 

*H. D. Kellogg, ( R.), El Dorado 1869-70 

A. W. Stearns, (R.), Towanda 1871-72 

*John Blevins, (R.), El Dorado 1873 

* V. Brown, (D.), Spring 1874-79 

*C. P. Strong, (R.), Milton 1880-83 

* James Fisher, (R.), Hickory 1884-87 

*T. O. Castle, (R.), El Dorado 1888-91 

J. T. Evans, (R.), El Dorado 1892-95 

S. G. Pottle, (R.), El Dorado 1896-99 

H. A. J. Coppins, (R.), Plum Grove 1900-04 

*W. H. Clark, (R.), El Dorado 1905-08 

M. L. Arnold, ( R.), Spring 1909-12 

Orville Holford, ( R.) , Augusta 1913-16 


*T. W. Satchell, (R.), Chelsea 1864-65 

*Henry Alartin, (R.), El Dorado 1866-69 

*A. Ellis, ( D.), Chelsea 1870-73 

*Joseph Williams, (D.), Spring 1874-75 

*E. B. Brainard, (R.), Milton 1876-79 

M. Bradley, (R.), Fairview 1880-83 

*J. H. Austin, (R.), Clifford 1884-87 

*J. D. Conner, (R.), El Dorado 1888-91 

W. F. Benson, { D.) , Chelsea 1892-93 

S. R. Clifford, (R.), Clifford 1894-97 

J. D. Hamilton, (D.), Douglass. . 1898-99 and 1915-16 
G. \V. Tolle, (R.), El Dorado. . 1900-4 and 1909-1910 

C. Rayburn, (R.), Clifford 1905-09 

J. O. Evertson, (R.) , Hickory 191 1-14 




*S. X. Wood, (R.), Chelsea .1867 

*B. O. Carr, (R.), El Dorado 1867-68 

*D. M. Branson, (R.), El Dorado 1869-70 

W. P. Campbell, (R.). El Dorado 1871-72 

*A. L. Redden, (R.), El Dorado 1873-74 

*E._ L. Aiken, (R.), Augusta •. 1875-6 

A. L. L. Hamilton, (R.), El Dorado 1877-78 

*E. N. Smith, (R.), El Dorado 1879-80 

*L. Knowles, (R.), El Dorado 1881-82 

*Geo. Gardner. (R.), El Dorado 1883-84 

C. E. Lobdell (R.). El Dorado 1885-86 

E. H. Hutchins, (R.), El Dorado 1887-90 

S. A. McGinnis, (A.), El Dorado 1891-92 

H. \V. Schumacher, (D.), El Dorado 1893-94, 1897-98 

T. A. Kramer, (R.), El Dorado 1895-96 

*E. B. Brumback, (E.), El Dorado 1899-1900 

*W. M. Rees. (R.), El Dorado 1901-04 

C. L. Aikman, ( R.) El Dorado 1905-09 

K. M. Geddes, (R.), El Dorado 1909-12 

Geo. J. Benson, (D.), El Dorado 1913-14 

Chas. W. Steiger, (R.), El Dorado 191 5-16 


*Jasper Goodall, (R.), El Dorado 1864-65 

*W. D. Snow, (R.), Towanda 1866 

*James Thomas, (R.), Chelsea 1867-71 

N. A. McKitrick, (R.), Augusta 1872-73 

*J. E. Anderson, (R.), Glencoe 1874-77 

*F. M. Anderson, (R.), El Dorado 1878-79 

^^^ H. Douglass, (R.), Douglass 1880-83 

*H. T. Dodson, (R.), Little Walnut 1884-87 

*Chas. Schram, (R.), Douglass 1888-91 

*J. AV. Middleton, (R.), Augusta 1892-95 

J. A. Hopkins, (R.). Plum Grove 1896-97 

\A\ G. Turner, (D.), Towanda 1898-1902 

Geo. A. Young, (D-), El Dorado 1903-06 

M. E. Joliffe, (D.), El Dorado 1907-10 

W. W. Moss, (R.), El Dorado 1911-14 

Newt Purcell, (R.), Walnut 1915-16 


, *A. H. Marchael, (R.), Chelsea 1867 

*W. W. Slayton, (R.), El Dorado 1868 

A. L. Petrie, (R.), El Dorado 1869 



H. D. Kellogg". (R.) El Dorado 1870 

*J. R. Ward, (R.), Towanda 187 1 

*k. M. AX'inger, (R.), El Dorado 1872 

*W. O. Redden, (R.), El Dorado 1872 

*M. D. Ellis, (R.j, Towanda 1873-74 

*C. N. James, (R.), Augusta 1875-82 

V. P. Mooney, (R.), Towanda 1883-88 

*W. H. Curry, (R.), Walnut 1889-90 

*J. F. Todd, (A.), El Dorado 1891-92 

Andy Swnggett, ( D.), Towanda 1893-94 

E. A. Makepeace, (R.). Augusta 1895-96 

V. A. Osburn, ( D. ), Augusta 1897-1900 

G. \y. Lane, (R.), Augusta 1901-04 

*A. N. Crowther, (R.), Douglass 1905 

S. P. Karnaham, (R.), Douglass 1906-08 

*Rav R- Shepherd, (R.). El Dorado 1909-11 

J. C. Hoyt, (R.), El Dorado 1912 

Anna M. Avery, (R.)- El Dorado 1913-16 


M. Vaught, (R.), Chelsea 1864-66 

*A. H. Marchael, (R.), Chelsea 1867-68 

*D. M. Bronson, (R.), El Dorado 1869 

*W. A. Sallee, (R.), El Dorado 1870-71 

*D. L. Knowles, (R.), El Dorado 1872-76 

*J. D. Porter, (R.), Prospect 1878-79 

*E. E. Harvey, (R.), El Dorado 1880-83 

*J. A. McGinnis, (R.), Hickory 1884-87 

*Daniel Boyden, (R.), Benton 1888-91 

M. A. Palmer, (R.), Little Walnut 1892-93 

S. H. Brandon, (R.), Douglass 1894-97 

E. S. Allen, (D.), El Dorado : . . . .1898-1901 

*F. W. Benson, (R.), Chelsea 1902-06 

L. D. Hadley, (R.), Glencoe 1907-10 

E. J. Sharp, (R.), El Dorado. 1911-14 

Zella Lamb. (R.), El Dorado 1915-16 


*Henry Martin, (R.), El Dorado 1864-65 . 

*W. H. Thomas, (R.), El Dorado 1867-68 

*Wm. Harrison, (R.), El Dorado. 1869-70 

*H. L Sumner, (R.), El Dorado 1871 

*D. M. Bronson, (R.). El Dorado 1872 

*S. W. Taylor, (R.), Douglass 1873-74 


S. E. Black. (R.). El Dorado 1875-80 

E. D. Stratford, (R.), Douglass 1881-84 

G. P. Aikman. (R.). El Dorado 1885-88 

*\y. E. Kilgore, (R.), El Dorado. . 1889-90 and 1895-96 

*T. G. Stansbury, (A.), Benton 1891-92 

M. H. Morrison, (D.), Hickory 1893-94 

J. ^I. Randall, (D.), Fairview 1897-1900 

J. F. Glendenning, (R.), Pleasant 1901-04 

*J. T. Xye, ( R.). Fairview 1905-08 

R. B. Ralston. ( R. ), Towanda 1909-12 

C. E. Hunt, (R.j, El Dorado 1913-14 

*J. R. IMcClugg-ag'e. (D.), Augusta 1915 

V. P. Mooney, (R.). El Dorado 1915-16 


*D. L. McCabe. ( R.), Chelsea 1867-68 

*H. D. Kellogg: (R.), El Dorado 1869 

J. E. Buchanan, (R.), Chelsea 1870 

*S. L. Shotwell, (R.), Douglass 1871-72 

*S. L. Robards, (R.) Milton 1873-74 

*John Blevins, (R.), Prospect 1875 

*C. X. James, (R.), 1876 

*Alvah "Shelden, (R.j, El Dorado 1877-80 

*J. W. Shivley, (R.), Douglass 1881-84 

*Hayward AA'ebb, (R. ), Augusta 1885-86 

A. M. Brumback. (R.), Milton 1878-90 

*Florence Olmstead. (A.). Richland 1891-92 

Clara Hazelrigg. F.), El Dorado 1893-94 

A\'. H. Ehlers, (R.), El Dorado 1895-96 

IMorton Holcomb, (D.), Richland 1897-98 

J. E. Mathers, (R.), Benton 1899-1902 

C. A\'. Thomas, (R.), Augusta 1903-06 

A\'. H. McDaniel, (R.), El Dorado 1907-10 

F. C. Smith. (R.), El Dorado 1911-12 

H. L French. ( D.), Little Walnut 1913-16 


*C. Harrison, (R.), EI Dorado 1867 

*James Strickland. (R.), El Dorado 1870 

*J. A. McKinzie, (R.), El Dorado. . . .1871 and 1896-97 

*Robert Holt, (R.). Chelsea 1872 

*E. L. Shirley, ( R.), Augusta 1873 

*Wm. Snyder, (R.), Fairview 1874-5 

*J. AI. Williamson, (R.), Lincoln. . 1876-77 andi88o-8i 

*H. T. Sumner, (R.), El Dorado 1878-79 

*J. S. Dutton, (R.), El Dorado 1882-86 














*J.ohn W. Long, (R.), El Dorado. . . .1887 and 1890-91 

O. Counsil, (R.). Augusta 1888-89 

Dodson, (A.), El Dorado 1892-93 

Gunn, (R.), El Dorado 1894-95 

Dillenbeck. (D.), El Dorado 1898-99 

Hill. Jr., ( R.), Augusta 1900-01-02 

Hunt. (R.). El Dorado 1903 and 1909-10 

, Harvey, (R-), El Dorado 1907-08 

Minos West, (D.). El Dorado 1911-12 

W. E. Turner, (P.j, El Dorado 1913-16 


*H. D. Kellogg. (R.),, El Dorado 1867-68 

*T. R. Wilson, (R.), El Dorado 1869-70 

*D. M. Bruce, (R.), Prospect 1871 

*E. H. Stoddard, (R.), Towanda 1872 

*F. C. Buck, (R.), Augusta 1873 

*J. W. Weimer, (R.), Douglass 1874-75 

*J. H. Austin, (R.), Clifford 1876-77 and 1894-97 

*L. A. Hamlin, (D.), El Dorado 1878-79 

*H. C. Gabbert, (R.), Augusta 1880-85 

W. S. Buskirk, (R.), Hickory 1886-87 and 1890 

F. S. Bowen, (R.), El Dorado 1888-1891 

Artie Peffley, (A.), Lincoln 1892-93 

J. C. Smith, (F.), Union 1898-99 

Lee Scott, (R.), El Dorado 1900-06 

C. W. Buskirk, (R.), Hickory 1907-16 


*Jordon Mabe, (R. ) , Chelsea 1864-65 

*W. H. Thomas, (R.), El Dorado , 1866 

M. Vaught, (R.), Chelsea 1867 

Alec Pet^-ie, (R.), El Dorado 1867 

Office abolished 1868 to 191 1 

W. A. Liggett, (R.), Rosalia 191 1 

*W. H. Clark, (R.), El Dorado 1913-14 

Office again abolished. 


Appointed by Board of County Commissioners. 

*J. A. AIcKinzie 1896 and 1903-04 

F. E. Dillenbeck 1897-98-99- and 1905-06 

A\\ O. Bennett 1900 and 1909 

*R. S. Miller 1901-02 and 1908 

C. E. Hunt 1907-10 

F. T. Johnson 1911 

F. A. Garvin 1912-16 


By A. L. L. Hamilton. 






Butler county was one of the original thirty-six counties laid out 
by the first territorial legislature in 1855, and until the admission of 
Kansas as a State on the 29th day of January, 1861, Butler county was a 
part of the second judicial district and Hon. Rush Elmore of Alabama, 
associate justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas territory was assigned 
to hold court therein. It is quite certain that no term of court was ever 
held in the county while Kansas was a territory. By a statute of i860, 
this county was attached to Breckenridge, now Lyon, county, for judi- 
cial purposes, and in the constitution of the State it was made a part of 
the fifth judicial district. Again on May 22, 1861, after Kansas became 
a State, the county of Butler was attached to Breckenridge county and 
courts were provided for commencing on the seventh Monday after the 
first Monday of March and September. 

For several years prior to i860, disputes arose, as to the boundary 
lines of the county on the south and east, and criminals, principally 
horse thieves, escaped punishment on account of the uncertainty in re- 
gard to the county lines. Witnesses were unable to testify as to the 
county in which crimes were committed, and the disputed territory 
became a "No Man's Land" and the the rendezvous and asylum of 
numerous bands of horse thieves. The law-abiding citizens were up in 
arms and appealed to the authorities for relief, and the legislature on 
February 27, i860, passed two laws, one declaring the fifth standard 
parallel the South line, and the line between ranges 9 and 10 east, the 
east line of the county, and the other forming the county of Irving, 
adjoining Butler on the south and making El Dorado the county seat, 
the new county being thirty-six miles from east to west and twenty- 
four miles north and south, and comprising about all of the south twen- 
ty-four miles of what is now Butler county. The fifth parallel was 



made the north line and the line between ranges 8 and 9, east, the east 
line of Irving- county. 

There was not much change in the county lines untij the legislative 
session of 1864, when Butler county was reconstructed, and made to 
include all the territory in what is now Butler and Cowley counties, the 
east twelve miles of the present counties of Harvey, Sedgwick and Sum- 
ner, the w^est nine miles of Greenwood, Elk and Chautauqua, and the 
south six miles of Chase and Marion. Early settlers say this change 
in county lines w^as demanded so that the Indians who had stolen their 
cattle and horses during the war could be punished and their depreda- 
tions stopped. At any rate the new law had the desired effect. When 
this law was passed, the town of Chelsea, having been the county seat 
of Butler county since its organization, became the capital of the en- 
larged county of Butler. At this time being supposed to be the largest 
county in the United States, if not in the inhabited world, this county 
was named, and has been denominated ever since, "The State of 

Verv soon the settlers along the- Arkansas river and lower lower 
^^'alnut demanded that the seat of government be brought nearer to 
their homes, claiming that the town of Chelsea was too far away. An 
election was held on May 21, 1864, which resulted in the removal of the 
county seat to El Dorado by a large majority. 

There are no records so far as known in Butler county showing that 
any litigation occurred here during or before the Civil war. For several 
years during that period a lawyer named Prince G. D. Morton lived at 
Chelsea, and there must have been some lawsuits there, but if so, no 
records of any legal proceedings have been made, or if made, they have 
been lost or destroyed. Early settlers say that suits were brought 
before justices of the peace at or near Chelsea, but only one they remem- 
ber of was actually tried by a jury. A man named Pratt was sued 
before a justice of the peace who lived on Durachen Creek, but whose 
name is not remembered. The plaintiff lived in Chase county, and 
claimed that Pratt had his horse and had converted him to his own use. 
P. G. D. Morton was plaintiff's attorney. The identity of the horse w^as 
the question in dispute. Pratt demanded a jury, and the case was set 
for a certain day for trial. Pratt sent to Wilson county for an attorney. 
When he came, he proved to be Capt. A. J- Miller, who later became a 
prominent lawyer of Butler county in the early seventies. Numerous 
witnesses were subpoenaed, from both Butler and Chase counties. The 
constable had ridden over 100 miles to summon the jury. Several hun- 
dred people traveled long distances to hear the trial, which lasted about 
a week. The plaintiff's attorney's argument to the jury consumed an, 
entire day and a part of the night following. An adjournment until the 
next day was taken, when Capt. Miller's argument began. His client 
demanded that he put in as much time as the opposing attorney, which 


he did. The verdict of the jury was as follows: "We, the jury, find 
that the plaintiff has no cause of action." 

The first deed recorded in the county was to P. G. D. Morton of 
Chelsea, Butler county, territory of Kansas, and is in book A, page i. 
It is dated August 7, i860, and was acknowledged before "J- R- Lamb- 
din, clerk of the court in and for Butler county," on August 27, i860, 
and was made by George Birch and Sarah Birch, his wife, and conveyed 
"one house 13x16 and three lots, two on which the house now stands, 
the other some one of the business lots on town plat of Chelsea town- 
site, being the same house in which said Birch now resides, and same 
lots promised to said Birch for building said house standing on south- 
half of southeast quarter of section 28, township 24, range 6." Sylvester 
Carter is the present owner of this eighty acres of land. 

The first term of the district court ever held in the county began 
on July 9, 1866, in El Dorado, and the journal recites : Present, Hon. J. 
H. Watson, judge of the fifth judicial district; Henry Imel, clerk; W. 
D. Show, sheriff; D. AI. Bronson, county attorney. No cases were tried, 
but two orders were made in the case of the State of Kansas v. H. A. 
Bemis, charged with grand larceny, as follow^s : "It is ordered by the 
court that the clerk of the district court of Chase county be required 
within sixty days after adjournment of court to make out and transmit 
to the clerk of this court a certified transcript of the proceedings had 
in this case in said court." Also, "It is ordered by the court that the 
said Hezekiah A. Bemis enter into a new' recognizance in the sum of 
$300 for his appearance at the next term of this -court, to be approved 
by the sheriff of Butler county, and it is further ordered that the said 
Hezekiah A. Bemis be held in custody by the said sheriff until the 
order be complied with." The only other cases on the docket were : 
The State v. Christopher Anderson, charged with grand larceny ; the 
State V. James F. Fongler, charged with grand larceny and bigamy, and 
the State v. Norris Harron, charged with bigamy, all of which were 
continued. All of the above cases were dismissed at the April term, 

The second term of the district court commenced on Monday, April 
22, 1867. Present, Hon. S. X. Wood, judge of the Ninth judicial dis- 
trict; W. W. Slayton, clerk; D. J\I. Bronson, county attorney. Jurors 
present w^ere Joseph Adams, \A^illiam Thomas, James Craft, T. W. 
Satchell, John Bishop, Edward Jeakins, P. P. Johnson and Doctor Lew- 
ellyn. Jurors failing to appear and excused w^ere William A. Badley, 
William Tousley and A. B. Allen. The first attorneys to appear in the 
district court were W. T. Galliher, for the plaintiff, and Ruggles & 
Brown, of Emporia, for the the defendant, in the case of James Thomas 
V. J. B. McCabe. The following attorneys had business in the district 
court prior to January i, 1872: D. M. Brown, W. T. Galliher, B. O. 
Carr, I. A. Moulton, W. P. Campbell, W. H. Redden, Henry T. Sumner, 
W. B. Parsons, Augustus Ottenott, W. D. Carpenter, J. J. Wingar and 


A. L. Redden, of El Dorado; I. M. Philips, E. E. Eaton, Eugene L. 
Akin, S. D. Pryor, E. B. Kager, G. P. Garland, D. Dodge, J. F. Lanck 
and James McCollum, of Augusta ; S. A\\ Taylor, of Douglass ; R. M. 
Ruggles, W. R. Brown, P. B. Plumb and Hunt & Gillett, of Emporia; 
William P. Hackney, of Winfield ; W. S. Romigh, of Cottonwood Falls; 
Isaac Sharp, of Council Grove? Many Butler county lawyers resided 
with their families on claims, traveling from there to their offices, some 
everv day, others being with their families over Sunday only. Mr. 
Galliher's home was on the Little \\"alnut, a few miles southwest of 
where Leon now is. L A. Moulton lived on Turkey creek; D. M. Bron- 
son on land now a part of the city of El Dorado ; W. P. Campbell, about 
two miles w^est of El Dorado ; Henry F. Sumner, on land now owned by 
Joseph King, near El Dorado ; J. J- Wingar, in Prospect township. 

In 1870, several thousand new settlers came to the county. They 
came in covered wagons, about the only way to get here in that early 
dav. The large majority had all their worldly ]Dossessions in a single 
wagon, to which was hitched their only span of horses. With this team 
they expected to plow the land and put in their crops, and they had no 
money with which to buy another team. It was soon discovered that 
an org-anized band of horsethieves was in the countrv. Manv settlers 
would find their horses had disappeared during the night, and could not 
be found in the morning after diligent search. Hiding places were 
found where horses had been kept for a short time. These were gener- 
allv in the thickest timber along the AValnut. They were usually a few 
miles apart. One place was found dug out along a high bank of the 
Walnut river, where horses had recently been kept, but no horses could 
be found at the time on the place. A system of spying was organized, 
and several horses were found in the cave and returned to their owners. 
The people learned positively as tothe identity of some of the thieves, 
and found out who others were by their intimate association with the 
thieves. "Birds of a feather flock together." Arrests were made, but 
convictions w'cre impossible because of lack of positive proof or of some 
intimate friends of the defendant being on the jury. The settlers organ- 
ized "vigilance committees" in every neighborhood, and soon resolved to 
take the law into their own hands. "Patience had ceased to be a virtue." 
In the month of November, 1870, four men were shot and killed a few 
miles north of Douglass and a few days later four others were taken 
from Douglass to a tree along the Walnut river and hung, and "the 
Butler county war" was on. Warrants were sworn out, charging nearly 
one hundred of the settlers with the murder of tlie eight men. Col. \\\ 
P. Hackney, then a young lawyer of Arkansas City, now a prominent 
attorney and honored citizen of Winfield, was employed to defend them, 
and he has kindly consented to give to the readers of this history his 
recollection of what took place, which follows: 



'Tn August, 1870, a young lawyer, in search of adventure, found 
himself in El Dorado.. Kan. On the morning of the sixteenth of that 
month he took stage for Winfield, where he arrived in time for supper, 
but the accommodations for his entertainment not being in evidence, 
at the instance of the driver, he went on to Arkansas City. During that 
night one of its citizens jumped one-quarter of the town site, and while 
at breakfast the lawyer was emplo3'ed to defend him before tlie claim 
league that evening, therefor. That claim league was, seemingly, com- 
posed of every one, but the lawyer's client, and all were against him, 
and consequently hostile to his lawyer. ^Mlen the case was on trial, 
one of the mob, seeing that the lawyer Avas a stranger, and taking that 
case had alienated every one from him, concluded he would intimidate 
the lawyer, and thereby advertise his own prowess, and for that pur- 
pose explained to the lawyer, who weighed only one hundred and 
twenty-six pounds, what he w^ould do to him if he repeated a question 
theretofore asked him of a witness. The lawyer called the bluff and the 
"bully" subsided, to the evident mortifcation of the mob. The next 
morning a committee of three, composed of the postmaster, superin- 
tendent of the stage line, and chairman of the meeting the night before, 
waited upon the lawyer and advised him to get out of town, else they 
did not know what the people would do to him, etc.. etc. The lawyer 
had expected to return to Winfield on the stage after breakfast, but for 
which employment. AMien thus threatened he told the committee that 
he had intended to leave the next morning, but that the people there 
evidently did not know who he was, so he would locate and stay with 
them until they found out, and that if any of them had an ambition to 
"wrestle his hash in hell," let them interfere with him ; when he pro- 
ceeded to build himself a house, sent for his famih'', and the people then 
thus became acquainted with him, and were wise enough not to inter- 
fere with him further. 

"On election night, early in November. 1870, that year a vigilance 
committee killed the two Booths and Jack Corbin, at Booths' Ranch, 
north of the Little Walnut, and were looking for Jim Smith, and just 
after they crossed that stream, near Douglass, they met him, where, in 
a running fight, he was killed. The stage Avas late that evening and 
crossed that stream just behind the killers. Warrants were out for 
eighty-seven men and one woman, charged v/ith the murder of those 
men, and among them was that stage driver, whose home was in Arkan- 
sas City. He employed that lawyer to defend him, and with bondsmen 
all started in a double-seated spring wagon for Douglass. When they 
arrived there, the town was full of armed men, who had driven tlie 
sheriff away, and refused to be arrested and stopped the stage driver 
and prevented his surrender. Learning that he had a lawyer with him, 
they engaged him, too, and he prepared complaints and warrants 


charging Bill Onimby, Dr. Morris and his son, and Alike Drea with 
horse stealing, or haboring such and receiving stolen horses, the exact 
charge, he no longer recalls. They were arrested and on their applica- 
tion, as he remembers, their hearings were adjourned by the court for 
two weeks, and they were guarded in Ouimby's store in Douglass 

"In the meantime, that lawyer was employed generally to defend 
them in all prosecutions then pending, or thereafter commenced, grow- 
ing out of said killing, and he remained there at the hotel, awaiting de- 
velopments. Oumby's home was probably 500 feet from his store, and 
the next day after his arrest, and while he, the two Morrises and Drea 
were thus confined in the store, and hundreds of armed men guarding 
them, or on the lookout for a rescue party of outlaws, said to be on 
their way from Wichita for the purpose of releasing them and killing 
the men who shot one of the Booths and Smith and hung the other 
Booth and Corbin, their friends ; when out from their home came Mrs. 
Quimby, revolver in hand, her long hair rustling in the breeze, and she 
made a "bee-line" to where her husband was. Everybody seemingly 
yelled to her to "Stop !" or to "Stop her !" Hundreds of men drew gun 
or revolver, rushed before her, threatening to shoot her if she did not 
stop, but pushing her revolver in their faces, she cleared an opening and 
rushing into the store, handed her revolver to her husband, sa3'ing: 
"Take it and shoot your way out, or die like a man. Otherwise they 
will kill you as they would a dog." But the guns were upon him, with 
the admonition that, "If you dare to touch that revolver, you are a 
dead man." He hesitated, turned away and she returned (screaming 
defiance and vengeance) to her children. 

The lawyer, as usual with him that afternoon, took a walk out 
from the town, and when nearly to the hotel on his return was met by 
three men, a large crowd following, when what seemed to be the spokes- 
man said to him: "Here, you! We w^ant you to get out of this town 
as quick as possible, and we don't want you to wait upon the order of 
your going, either." The lawyer had learned by this time that any kind 
of a suspicion against a man ripened into conviction conclusive very 
quickly, and his first thought was that some evil disposed person had 
poisoned the minds of the mob against him, and hence his order to 
leave, and of course his fighting blood was at a white heat instantly; 
and he said : "Here, you fellows. You don't know who I am. I served 
four years in the United States army, and was shot twice on the field 
of battle to make this country free, and no damned outfit is going to 
tell me when I shall leave this town, or how I shall travel; and if any 
of you want to try that issue with me, make your bluff good, and see 
how you come out!" Thereupon the spokesman said: "Don't be a 
damned fool ! You have been employed by us, as our attorney ; and for 
reasons sufficient to us, we don't want you here any longer. Therefore, 
we want you to leave for home at once." Thus admonished and molli- 
fied, he replied : "But the stage is gone and I have no other mode of 


conveyance." To which he replied, pointing to hundreds of horses 
hitched nearby : "Take your choice of any of those horses. He is yours 
on your fee and we will settle with the owner.'' EUit he said: 'Tt is 
PTOwinsf cold, a norther is in evidence. It is late in the afternoon ; it's 
nearh?^ forty miles to Arkansas City, where I live, and I have no over- 
coat, no gloves, no spurs, and in these times I need for such a trip, re- 
volvers, but have none." Thereupon they said to a young man about 
the size of the lawyer, with a new overcoat on : "Get out of that over- 
coat and give it to him." That was done, another gave him a new pair 
gauntlet gloves, another a large comforter, another an elegant belt and 
holsters and a pair of ivory-handled seven-shooters; and another $150 
in gold. He selected a large, splendid roan horse with new bridle, 
blanket and saddle, and they telling him that they would look after his 
hotel bill, he gladly mounted and rode away, followed and soon over- 
taken by a veritable blizzard that covered the whole country with snow 
three or four inches deep on the level, through which he miserably 
wended his way, arriving at his home about 3 o'clock the next morning. 
The night following, Quimby, Doctor Morris, his son, and ]\Iike Drea 
were taken to a tree down on the ^^"alnut river, southwest of Douglass, 
and there hung. 

The next day. about 4 o'clock p. m.. the lawyer received a letter 
from his employers calling him to Douglass at once. He started promptly, 
facing as he went another blizzard from the north, and after much suf- 
fering, he and the companion bringing him the summons, finally late at 
night, came upon the home of John Irwin, and sheltering their horses 
behind a hay stack, went to the house, a log structure without chinking, 
with wagon sheets fastened on the north and south sides to keep out the 
snow. John, his wife and little daughter were in the only bed in the 
house ; five or six others were ahead of them, who had placed their 
wagon sheet on the dirt floor, lain down with their clothes on in front 
of the improvised fire-place, covering themselves with the few blankets 
they had. when room was made for the new comers, who spent the bal- 
ance of that night miserably, indeed, but it was life, whereas death 
lurked on the outside, ^^l^en morning came they wended their way to 
Douglass, where they found that seemingly all of the men had stam- 
peded to somewhere in the Flint Hills, where the^^ were in hiding. 
Putting up at Lamb's hotel, the lawyer finally got into communication 
with them, and after some da}'s — the weather moderating — they re- 
turned ; when rumor had it that Lieutenant ^^"allingsford, of the United 
States army at Abilene — a notorious outlaw afterwards dismissed from 
the service — with hundreds of outlaws sworn in as deputy marshals, in 
which a newly organized compan}' of militia at and above Augusta, 
would not fire into each other. Those on the west side were concealed, 
those whom they suspected of having killed their said friends. In fact, 
two men came in. their horses covered with sweat, claimine- that thev 
had been chased bv some of that gang, w!k^ were then on their wav 


there, only a few miles out. Everybody seemingly believed that and 
organized for war then and there. Two battalions of about three hun- 
dred men each were advanced along- the main road, just outside of 
Douglass, one on the east of that road and the other on the west side, 
separated so that in firing on the enemy coming in over that road, they 
would not fire into each other. Those on the Avest side were concealed, 
as the writer now recalls, in a corn field, and those on the east in tall 
grass, while probably one hundred and fifty men were advanced half a 
mile further north with skirmishers, front and flank army fashi(jn, 
thrown forward with orders to skirmish \vith the enemy, slowly falling 
back, and thus drawing them into the fire of the forces left and right, 
when they were to be annihilated. 

It was a beautiful, moonlight night, and when all was ready, over 
the protest of the fighters, who insisted they would be killed sure, the 
lawyer, with one companion, started to meet the invaders with the idea 
of persuading them, if possible, to halt and go back. Meeting no one. 
how^ever, they passed through Augusta and arrived at El Dorado just at 
dawn, where they learned that a militia company had been formed by 
the friends of the murdered men at Augusta, who had called upon the 
Governor of Kansas for arms, and that his adjutant general was then in 
the hotel, with arms, ammunition, etc., for one hundred men, having 
arrived the evening before. The lawyer then repaired to the general's 
room", where he informed him that the organization of said militia com- 
pany, and their armament meant civil war, as the men who had killed 
the alleged outlaws and their freinds meant every man and boy old 
enough to fight in southern Butler and northern Cowley counties. That 
they were largely old soldiers, fresh from fields of battle, fully armed, 
ably officered, and were ready to fight and would fight any and all ])er- 
sons. officers or not, who dared to try to arrest them, and that the best 
thing he could do was to ship his war materials back to Topeka, and hie 
himself there, and allow the excitement to subside, wdien the lawyer 
would undertake to have the alleged murderers surrender themselves 
to the sheriff, under said warrants. This was agreed to, the parties re- 
sposible for his presence so notified, and after eating breakfast with the 
lawyer, he and his war materials left for Topeko, and the lawyer and his 
companions left for Douglass, where they learned that parties had come 
in after they left and reported both killed by said outlaws, and, strange 
as it may seem, believed what they heard, no matter how absurd. 

After much wrangling and some days of deliberation, it was, finally 
determined that those for whom warrants were out should go to El 
Dorado and surrender themselves to the sheriff, Imt that all others 
should go with them, as. the sheriff and everybody else who dared criti- 
cize such lynchings were classed as like outlaws. In the meantime an- 
other violent snow storm was in evidence, and on a \ery cold day. amidst 
a deep snow, the cavalcade, late in the afternoon, started, passing through 
Augusta — wliich was classed as hostile territorv — about sundown. Thev 

' (17) 


continued north and west into camp in the timber about our miles be- 
low El Dorado. The wagons were drawn up in a circle, horses on the 
inside, guards were stationed outside, the snow shoveled off, tents put 
up, supper cooked. Aye, ham, eggs and coffee — black coffee — and a 
feast had, after which the men, other than those on guard, slept until 
morning, when a like breakfast was had, and all then went into El Do- 
rado, where these men, and their friends, reported to the sheriff, and all 
then went before three justices of the peace (their names are not now re- 
called ) theretofore arranged for, and their cases set down for trial a fpw 
days later, and the amount of the bonds for the appearance of each 
fixed by the court. The question of who their sureties should be, coming 
up. the lawyer then stated that he was directed by his clients to say 
that 'No bondsmen had been provided, and none would be, and that the 
court must admit them to bail on their own recognizance, or they would 
go home without, and be ready for trial as ordered.' After much wrang- 
ling by lawyers employed to assist in the prosecution, the general com- 
manding said: 'Here, you fellows! It is getting late, the weather is 
cold and we have a long cold ride to make, in order to get to our homes. 
If you want these men to sign their bonds to be back here, do it quick. 
Otherwise we and they will depart now.' Cavil then ceased, the bonds 
were signed by each of the defendants, and all left for home. At the 
time appointed they and their said attorney were on hand, and separate 
trials demanded and the grind commenced before the three justices of 
the peace, which ended after some weeks, in the discharge of all 
but three, who gave bond to appear in court in April following. In the 
meantime, and when, the writer does not now recall, but the paper will 
show, an article appeared in the Walnut Valley Times, purporting to be, 
as he now recollects signed "798 Vigilantes," to the effect that the people 
coming into that country were mostl}' old soldiers and that their prop- 
erty consisted largely of their teams, wagons, harness, plows and a 
scanty supply of meager household goods, and that without their teams 
they could not live and care for their families, and would have to go back 
from whence they came, and that they did not propose to do that, but in 
order to stay, the horse thieves then infesting that country, and their 
friends, must go. That they had killed four on November 4th and four 
on December 4th, and that they proposed to kill four on the 4th of every 
month thereafter until all were gone, and that any attempt to prosecute 
them therefor, meant death, or words to that effect, after which it is 
hardly necessary to recite that many left between two days that none 
had suspected of wrongdoing. 

"On the second day before the April term of the district court com- 
menced in 1871, that lawyer, then living at Belle Plaine. in Sumner 
county, repaired to Douglass, and the next day the said defendants and 
about three hundred of their friends, wnth teams loaded with feed and 
provender for man and beast, and fully armed, with him wended their 
way to El Dorado, where they went into camp, just outside of the vil- 


lage on the \^'alnut river, near sundown. The genera! and liis adjntanl. 
with said lawyer repaired to the hotel, where they were assigned to a 
large room with three beds in it and a table in the center, where they 
spent the night, during which an officer would appear and the following- 
formula would be gone through with. Officer: 'Captain and 

men from are here and await your orders as to where 

thev shall go into camp." "" General : 'Give Captain my com- 
pliments and tell him to go intc^ camp on the west of the line, facing out, 
and post guards accordingly, and await orders.' And so it went on until 

late at night, when Captain from Hickory Creek reported with 

eighty-nine men and was directed likewise, and when dawn arrived, El 
Dorado was girded with armed soldiers from the Walnut river below to 
that ri\'er above. On the way up from Douglass, the general, in con- 
versation with the lawyer said : 'You will not have to defend these men.' 
When he asked why, that officer replied: 'Young man, you need not 
concern yourself about that." And the lawyer subsided, without the 
least idea of what he meant thereby. After an early breakfast the next 
morning, the general, adjutant and lawyer were joined by two other 
officers, all fully armed, when the g-eneral remarked to the lawyer: 
'Come with us." When all started down the street towards the court 
house. When opposite the county attorney's office they met the judge 
of that court, when the general said to him : 'Judge, our people came 
into this country to make themselves homes, where they hoped to rear 
their children, and found it infested with horse thieves and their friendSj^ 
who stole their horses and robbed them, of the means to support their 
families. The law was powerless to protect them and they were forced 
is self-defense to kill some of them, when the others decamped. Three of 
our men have been bound over in your court today, therefore, and this is 
to notify you that these men will not be tried, and if necessary- to kill 
some officials to prevent that, their blood will be upon their own hands, 
not ours.' He turned and walked into the county attorney"s office. The 
judge said to the lawyer: 'Sir, what means this?" He replied: 'You 
know as much about that as I do. Had T dreamed that such was their 
mission I would not have been with them, but, judge, they have killed 
eight men ; they have families ; they believe that killing was necessary 
under all the circumstances, and desperate at the thought of prosecution 
long continued, there is no telling what they may do. 'He replied: "Are 
you not their lawyer? It is your duty as an officer of court to control 
and hold them in check.' He replied : 'That is all very true in theory, 
and no lawyer has a higher appreciation of his duty as such than m}'self ; 
but, judge, I am very much in love with life, and especially v,-ith a little 
girl wdio is wife to me, and I am not going to abandon the one to throw 
away the other by playing with these men the game you suggest." Then 
he said: 'Then it is your dut}- to withdraw and refuse to defend them, 
under such circumstances.' To which he repliecl : 'Oh! 'J'hat is all 
very fine theory, but it won't work in this case. First, because if I 


did that, it would be my duty to surreuder back to them the considerable 
sums of money they have paid me, and having spent it, I cannot do that. 
Second, because, just how much I may know about said killing is Greek 
to hundreds of them, and if I did that, some of them might conclude 
therefrom that I was ready to betray them to courts and officers of the 
state, and I am somewhat ticklish about my throat and I love my wife, 
so I prefer to stay with her and let matters drift, rather than to follow 
the eight into that bourne from whence no traveler has returned ; and if 
you are like circumstanced I would suggest that discretion is the better 
part of valor, and those men had better be discharged and sent back 
home today, else your wife may be a widow." They indulged in like 
talk to the county attorney. Later when the lawyer arrived in court it 
was jammed with the vigilantes. The judge, as pale as death, took his 
seat upon the judicial bench, when the county attorney, likewise pale, 
arose and said: Tf Your Honor please, too much blood -has been re- 
cently shed in this county already and I doubt if, under present condi- 
tions, convictions can be had in these cases (naming the three), and 
further blood might be shed, and I therefore move the court to dismiss 
these cases, and discharge these defendants, that they go hence without 
delay.' And the court said : 'The order is so made, and these defandants 
are discharged.' And thus ended what Avas then known as the Butler 
Coiint}' ^^'ar.' " A\\ D. Hackney. 

The number of criminal cases in the district court up to the present 
time is 1,367, and of civil cases, 8,560. ]\Iany of these cases were of 
great interest at the time and some of the most l:)rilliant lawyers in the 
W^est have tried cases here. It can be truthfully stated, however, that 
nearly all gf the trials have been conducted by our local attorneys and 
it is very seldom that litigants have deemed it necessary to import law- 
yers from outside the county, and when they did were often disap- 
pointed with the results. It was the custom here as elsewhere wdien the 
countrv was new for lawyers to travel with the judge from one county 
to another and attend the sessions of the court, expecting employment in 
cases to be tried ; but this has become unprofitable and was entirely- 
abandoned many years ago. 

Of the numerous attorneys who have resided in the county and 
practiced here, the large majority only remained a short time. Many 
have found it impossible to establish themselves and soon removed else- 
where. Others, more patient and plodding, not expecting to make their 
fortunes in a day, remained, and some of the latter are still with us. 
Generally, it can be said of these that they have done well and have be- 
come substantial citizens and are possessed of a reasonable amount of 
the good things of this life. Of the attorney's who have practiced at this 
1)ar but comparatively few have died. Several of these were among the 
leading lawyers of the State. Some were more brilliant than others. 
Nearly all were good attorneys and successful practitioners. All of these 


have long since gone on before : Eugene L. Akin, William 1\ Galliher, 
George Gardner, Eli N. Smith, Alfred L. Redden, Col. Henry T. Sum- 
ner, Col. William H. Redden, Israel A. Moulton, Daniel M. Bronson, W. 
D. Carpenter. 

Butler county has been fortunate in the members of the bar. Some 
attorneys in nearby cnnities have been disbarred for unprofessional con- 
duct ; others have become habitual drunkards ; some have been prose- 
cuted and convicted of crime; but it is to the credit of the bar of this 
county that our lawyers have been generally law-abiding, honorable and 
worthv citizens. 


By J. D. Hamilton; M. D. 



I have been requested to write what I know of the medical profes- 
sion of this county for the last generation, that being- the period of my 
association with it. I came to this county in April, 1883, and ni}' ex- 
perience has been extensively with the profession. The men avIio were 
active in the professions, mercantile and agricultural pursuits, were the 
men who have made this county the commonwealth that is equal to any 
in the State. 

The physicians who represented the profession were not mediocre 
nor insignificant ; being graduates of the best schools in the Nation, con- 
firmed by experience, were able to cope with the diseases of the county 
and served their times well. They kept abreast of the times until they 
responded to their last call ; and they loved their profession for its sake. 
They made their diagnosis and applied their remedies from the clinical 
aspects of their patients, by close observation and thorough reasoning. 
They answered their calls on horseback and in buggy. They went, they 
stayed and determined to fight the divine fiat that all must die; and 
when the heart ceased to beat and the breath went and came no more, 
they closed the eyes of their patients and with regret left them with the 
dear ones. None but a ph3^sician knows how he feels. They also have 
their times for rejoicing and appreciation. When the raging fever sub- 
sided, the pulse became regular, the patient was found sleeping and 
awoke with a little smile and on the road to recovery. , 

]\Iany are the incidents we could relate as we passed on our way in 
and out with our fellow men, women and children. I have in mind a 
number of older physicians. Dr. J. O. Bugher located on the White- 
water in the early sixties, south of Towanda. Dr. John Horner, who 
lives in the cit}^ of Whitewater, located in Milton township about 1870. 
Dr. J. A. McGinnis located in Hickory township ; Dr. Ensley in Clay 
township ; Dr. Cunningham also located in Clay township, and also prac- 
ticed in Cowley count}'. Dr. J. A. McKenzie was perhaps the first man 
to locate in El Dorado, and for many years was one of the leading physi- 



cians of the count}-. Dr. Gordon, Dr. White, the father of the noted 
William Allen White; Dr. Hunt,, Dr. Fullinwider, Dr. Koooier, Dr. 
Kuhn and Dr. Miller were El Dorado's earliest physicians. The oldest 
physicians of Augusta were Drs. Hill, Shirley, Buck, Marshall, Hall 
and Polk. Those of Leon were Doctors Carlisle. Kline and ]\IcKinzie. 
Dr. Benepe Knote and McGowen, Tucker, Thomas, McClugg^age and 
myself represented the medical profession of Douglass for many years. 
Dr. Barklow has been in Rose Hill for twenty-five years and perhaps 
will be there for twenty years more. Dr. Phillips is now located in Beau- 
mont. I am sorry to say that most of them have answered their last 
call.' They represented the medical fraternity and did it well. Doctors 
Carlisle. Barklow, Hall and Marshall and myself are left and it has fallen 
on me to tell the story. Why I should be so blest I cannot tell, but I 
am thankful for the same. Abe Martin said, "What a boy eats between 
meals is what keeps him from starving to death," and perhaps it is what 
I eat that has something to do with my being here. Many are the times 
that we have spared our swords, singly and together, with death, over 
our patients and have won out at times. We have also been with life 
and action. We have been with the mother when she breathed for the 
first time her first born's breath. May the good Providence deal gently 
with the mothers of the past and the mothers-to-be of Butler county. 
Mothers are the highest type of womanhood, next to the angels. 

But what of the present medical faculty of the county? I know all 
of them personally, and some of them well. I know them to be good 
and true men, who have the profession at heart and who have profited 
by our experience and have opportunities and helps that we did not have 
— X-ray, microscope, physological chemistry, morbid anatomy and the 
hospital. I cannot say too much for the hospital, the strong and steady 
surgeon, the anesthetic, the antiseptic, the house physician and the nurse, 
the angel who comes to the sick and suffering with knowledge and skill 
and their angelic touch and pleasant smile. God bless them and their 
wrist watch as they remain with you through the long vigils of the night. 
I am no medical nihilist. I believe in medicine. There is truth in medi- 
cines, facts in surgery, and relief to be had in true medicine that is to be 
had in no other avenue. 


By Clarence King. 





The first agricultural society was organized in 1872, with Lewis 
Maxwell, president, and M. D. Ellis, secretary. An agricultural exhibi- 
tion was held at Towanda during the fall of 1872. The grounds were 
prepared and track laid out and graded on the AL D. Ellis claim, the 
northeast quarter of section 9 in Towanda township. A very creditable 
showing was made in products of the farm, live stock, riding and driving 
on the track, etc., considering the age and opportunities of the times. It 
was not a money making institution. The grounds were unfenced and 
very little money was realized from "gate( ?) receipts." The next year 
the fair was held in Douglass, where a good track had been prepared, 
the grounds fenced and buildings erected for live stock of all kinds, ex- 
hibits of the farm, etc. A\'ith the exception of a few years there has 
been since said time and still is held at Douglass a Butler county expo- 
sition by the Douglass Agricultural Society. The officers of this society 
now are: Ed Wilkerson, president; AVilliam Hilton, treasurer; J. A. 
Clay, secretary. This is one of the flourishing institutions of Southern 
Butler, and under its present management is a success in every particular. 

Fairs were held for a number of years at El Dorado, southwest of 
the city, and then removed to the northwest part, where good buildings 
and a grandstand and amphitheater were erected and one of the fastest 
half-mile tracks in the State, but for some reason it was not a profitable 
venture for its promoters, and it ceased to exist. 

The kafir corn carnival held in El Dorado during the fall is taking 
the place of the fair to some extent. 

An agricultural history of Butler county, although it does not ex- 
tend over a great lapse of time, shows some great changes. The really 
important farming period of its history does not extend back many 
decades. Its early agricultural efforts were mostly along the Hues of 
live stock production. Markets being far away, too far to profitably 
market grain except through the agency of live stock. Emporia was 



one of the early markets for the earliest settlers even points farther 

The comity's important agronomical history cannot be said to ex- 
tend back farther than forty years and upon a well settled permanent 
basis for a considerably shorter period than that. Especially in the 
kinds of crops raised and in the manner of cultivation have the changes 
been remarkable. It is indeed cjuite a transition from the old style sod 
breaker and its ox team to the modern tractor with the its multiple 

But a more effective change and one of far more importance has 
been the adoption into the county's agriculture of those crops that are 
best suited to its soil and climate and m a large area like Butler county 
with a somewhat diversified soil as to its different sections these crops 
vary in importance somewhat throughout the county. The eastern 
part of the county being a rougher country, it has always been inclined 
to live stock, and the feed crops, while the western part has always 
been more of a grain growing section. The early settlers confined 
themselves mostly to the river valleys, whose fertile soil produced 
abundantly all the grain crops known in their times farther east. Corn 
easily became the leading crop with wheat at least an equal, at a little 
later date, in the western and more especially the northwestern part. 

The open range the year round and prairie hay were the chief for- 
age in the early days, and cattle fed upon this ration often presented a 
sorry spectacle by spring, it being a common occurrence to have to 
stand them on their feet every morning or pull them out of the creek 
where they had mired down and were too weak to extricate themselves. 

Results were vastly different in such methods from those gained in 
feeding modern rations of grain, alfalfa and ensilage. 

Farming methods were just as crude in the early days as the feed- 
ing operations. One early settler on the upper Whitewater who long 
owned and operated one of its fertile farms had a farm outfit which 
consisted of a lister, harrow and cultivator, which, with a wagon in 
which to gather his corn, comprised his whole equipment. His farm 
was run on the one crop plan and he himself frequently said that it had 
been run that way just about as long as it could be profitably. With 
the depletion of the fertility in the valley lands and the breaking out 
of the thinner uplands, then came a demand for other crops than the 
old order of oats, wheat and corn. Sorghum was early introduced and 
proved to be a valuable forage crop on the thinner soils and a great 
change. Its "sorghum lasses" was often a great blessing to the early 
settler, but it was neither a soil restorer nor a grain crop and it re- 
mained for alfalfa and kafir to supply these needs. These two crops 
have marked a wonderful improvement in I'.utler coun.ty agronomy and 
have contributed greatly to its present prosperous and profitable con- 
dition. It is interesting to note what a great change these two new 
crops have wrought in local agriculture, even quite recently. Their in- 


troduction at first was rather slow. A majority of the settlers had come 
from a corn raising coiintr}- and they clunp; tenaciously to maize, of 
which they had generally raised bountiful crops in the virgin soil of the 
fertile Walnut and AVhitewater valleys and their tributaries. Many of 
the early settlers also declared that the fertility of these valleys was 
practically inexhaustible and could not see the need of a soil renevator 
like alfalfa. The spread of agronomy to the thinner uplands also did 
much to increase the importance and popularity of kafir. Alfalfa sprang 
into importance somewhat earlier and quicker than kafir, the latter hav- 
ing only been introduced into this country from Africa by the National 
Department of Agriculture in 1885, and soon after into this locality. 
Neither of these crops were raised to any extent in Butler county pre- 
vious to 1890, although alfalfa had been a well known crop in parts of 
our country from the earliest times and was an important forage plant 
in ancient times. 

It soon gained in importance and popularity in the county's crop 
list, especially in those bottom lands whose fertility had been some- 
what exhausted, perhaps so much that corn raising was rather unprof- 
itable, and alfalfa here fitted to the soil and into the rotation admirably. 

The increase in its acreage during the nineties was rather slow 
though, there being only 13,000 acres in the county in 1900. The next 
five years it made a remarkable increase in acreage, being over 35,000 
acres in 1905, but since then the acreage has remained about station- 
ary on the average, there being a few less acres in 1912 than there were 
in 1905. One of the most interesting matters in Butler county's crop 
statistics has been the struggle for the first place as a grain crop be- 
tween corn and kafir. In 1899 there was raised in Butler county 180-, 
553 acres of corn and 26,768 acres of kaffir or about one-seventh as 
much acreage. In 1912 the acreage had so changed that the acreage 
stood, corn 84,417, and kafir 119,304 acres. In that year assessors' 
returns in the county gave kafir ah acreage value of $14 per acre and 
white corn was rated at $12.65. ^^ the previous year results were even 
more striking as -corn was rated at an average acre of $10.62, while 
kafir was given a value of $15 per acre. 

These dry years since 191 1 were the cause of the great preponder- 
ance of kafir. It will also be noticed in scanning statistics that the 
large increase in the alfalfa acreage dates from the dry year of 1901. 
On the other hand, after wet years, there has often been a great return 
to corn and tlie small grains, there being a considerable dislike to kafir 
among many farmers on account of its feeding qualities, harvesting and 
effect on land, but kafir will probably contine to reign supreme on 
the thin uplands at least, and crowd corn closeh^ for second place on 
much of the better land. 

The increase in cultivated acreage has not been large of late vears, 
there beinc 280,281 acres in cultivation in 1900 anl 291,965 acres in 1912. 
This small increase is probably greatly due to the large increase in im- 


portance of the county's live stock interests, increased pasture rates and 
good prices for prairie hay in recent years. In can be remembered not 
many years back when pasturage rates were seventy five cents and $1.00 
per season or sorrie years previous to that the open range was to be had. 
Now, $6 to $8 per head is a common pasturage rate. 

It is very pleasing to the grain raiser to notice that in recent years 
the locality has had greatly increased prices. This is partly due to gen- 
eral conditions and also to local ones. In the past quite often the grain 
raised in the county was worth market price less the freight to market 
or perhaps the market was quite variable, there not being a steady local 
demand. For example : In the great corn year of 1889, corn sold in the 
fall from ten cents to fifteen cents per bushel ; the next spring it was 
worth fifty cents. Fifteen cents to twenty-five cents was a common 
price for corn in some earlier years of the county's history. Nowadays, 
the old condition's of grain prices is often reversed, owing to the great 
local demand for grain in live stock feeding. Many communities in 
the county do not supply enough grain for their local demands and con- 
sequently their grain is worth market price plus the amount of freight 
it takes to bring it there from its point of origin or at least an approxi- 
mate to that price. These conditions sometimes enable Butler county 
farmers to receive more than Kansas City or even Chicago prices for 
their feed grain, but, of course, does not apph^ to the food grain, wheat, 
as so much of it still moves East toward the center of population. The 
county's wheat production has remained stationary for many years, or 
has fallen off, since of late years has given way somewhat to more di- 
versified farming, the acreage formerly devoted to it in the western and 
northern parts of the county being devoted to alfalfa or kafir in many 

In 1900 there was raised 11,711 acres of wheat, which was ac- 
counted an acre value of $10.26., there being an average yield of about 
nineteen bushels per acre. In 1912 there was produced 9,332 acres, 
yielding eighting bushels per acre, but with an acre value of $15.50, 
showing a much better price for the grain this year than the previous 
one. The oats crops also has remained rather stationary for a long term 
of years, being used chiefly as a rotation crop, it may vary considerably 
from year to year, but continues to maintain about the same acreage for 
ten years. In 1900 the county produced 21,492 acres of oats, and in 
1912 the crop was 25,008 acres. 

Farming methods have changed almost as much as the crops them- 
selves. In early times, or perhaps it would be more proper to say dur- 
ing the middle ages of Butler county agriculture, the lister was almost 
the universal planter, but of late years it has fallen somewhat into ill- 
repute. More plowing is done. Better horses are available than for- 
merly, making more and better plowing possible. The gas tractor is also 
becoming quite common. In fact, the farmer of a quarter of a century 
ago would hardly recognize the local conditions of today. Perhaps 


many changes may be chronicled in the coming twenty-five years, but 
surely not more effective ones than in the past ^Deriod of that duration. 
We know at least that lUitler county agronomy has reached a point 
where it is upon a firm and stable basis. 


By Ed Blair. 

Did you ever hear o' Kafir corn, 

That grows here where it's dry? 
(Jut here 'round El Dorado, Bill, 

It boosts this country high. 
D'ye know that Kafir corn and gas. 

And oil and zinc and lead 
Are just as good as real cash ? 

Yet, Kafir corn's ahead. 

You didn't Bill, you couldn't know, 

Unless you've been out here ; 
You've got to see it with your eyes, 

Before your mind is clear. 
I didn't either, 'till I dropped 

In here t' see the show. 
And now I've joined the Boosters, Bill, 

A bunch that makes things go. 

They're raisin' steers and horses here 

So big and fat and wide, 
That crossin' common bridges, Bill, 

Two can't walk side by side ; 
And ah they eat is Kafir corn 

Erom frost till early spring. 
There ain't no use a talkin'. Bill, 

This Kafir corn is King. 

If you should want a settin' hen 

To stay upon her nest, 
Don't let her feed on Kafir corn, 

Eor it wont let her rest. 
She'll Lay, from once to twice a day, 

In spite of all her frettin,' 
For Kafir corn was surely made 

To keep old hens from settin' 

Along the banks, the Kafir roots 
Stick out into the river; 


You'll notice as you go along. 

The stalks quite often qui\er; 
It's catfish nibblin' at the roots. 

And bass 'nd crappie feedin ;' 
And when they find them Kafir roots, 

No other feed they're needin.' 

The pigs get fat a browsin.' 'round 

Where Kafir corn is wasted. 
And cakes made from the Kafir meal's 

The best I ever tasted. 
Some oil men tried to lease a farm 

Last week from old man Jolly, 
"You'll never spoil my Kafir land," 

Said he. "For oil. by golly." 


The county farm was purchased during the year 1878 from William 
Crimble for the sum of $4,000; afterward, during the 3^ear 1898. there 
was added thereto about thirt} acres and the present buildings erected 

As a general proposition the farm has been self-sustaining and is, 
of course, of much greater value today than when the county became the 
owner, and many persons whose lives were failures, by reason of af- 
fliction, mental and physical, have found a home therein where at least 
the necessities of life were furnished and where a goodly number have 
laid down the burden of a life that had been destitute of those things for 
which men strive, luxuries, enjoyment, hope or faith ; inheriting and 
taking possession of that six feet of earth, that makes all of one size, 
including the superintendent and the inmate. 

The farm was opened for settlement in March, 1879, Robert F. 
Moore, of Benton township, becoming the first superintendent. Since 
that time there have been the following superintendents in the order 
named : 

Robert F. Moore 1879-80 

H. Underwood 1881-82 

George M. Sandifer 1883-86 

A. Aikman 1887 

J. S. Friend 1888-93 

W. H. Sandifer 1894-06 

C. S. Young 1906-09 

C. M. Dillon 1910-1 1 

J. W. Marley 1912-15 

D. F. Marley 1916 


The first year, 1879, there were thirty-six homeless and destitute 
admitted, one of whom is still with the county. From the records it is 
practically impossible to give an estimate of the number received since 
the home was established. There are now, in 1916, only nine persons 
dependent upon the count}- for support at the county farm, some of whom 
are partially self-supporting. 







The cayuse. broncho, mustang, Indian and Texas ponies were used 
for riding, driving and hauling the lighter loads. The heavier hauling 
was done principally by oxen, but gradually immigrants brought a higher 
grade of horses, and crossing with the better ones of those already here, 
produced a good serviceable class of horses. This continued until the 
standard and thoroughbred driving horses took the place of the pony 
stock of the early settler. 

Some of the Ijest trotting stock in the country has been bred and 
developed in this county. Probably the first standard bred horse 
brought to the county was "Champion," by Lamb, of Douglass, and the 
first horse to win a race, winning the sweepstakes at the Butler county 
fair in 1872. The next was a horse called "Kalamazoo Boy," brought from 
Michigan by H. M. Balch. He was driven on the track at the fairs held 
in El Dorado a number of times, taking first money, his record being 
2 :36. There were others, but the first party to enter the business of 
breeding and training trotting stock for sale was the late A. W. Denni- 
son. The report of his work, as given by W. O. James, his trainer and 
driver, and who has driven in some of the fastest races in the State and 
developed greatest speed, follows : 

"Back in the eighties. Judge A. \^^ Dennison started one of the best 
standard bred horse stock farms in the West. The first horses he raced 
were such as "Black Tom," a trotter, and the great pacer, "B. T.," and 
a trotter, "Slade." Then he bought the game race horse, "Egmont Chief," 
a great trotter in those days, and if given the same opportunit}^ that 
some sires have had would rank with the l)est in the world. He drove 
him and such mares as "Eva," a trotter," and "Maggie," a pacer, and 
many others. Then hard times hit this county and horses were not worth 
much. This farm was disposed of, but time had proved his judgment 
was all right. Such brood mares as "Evalou," by "Egmont Chief," was 
bred and raised at this farm, and she was the dam of "Pierro," the great- 
est trotter than ever raced in Australia, and was the largest money 
winning trotter in that country in 1910. This mare, "Evalou," was 



trained and driven !:>}■ \\'. O. James, who effected a sale of her in Free- 
])()rt. J 11., for a large sum of money, and she was exported to Australia. 
The same season of 1910, the dam of "Dudie Archdale," the largest 
money winner of that season in America, was bred and raised on this 
farm. "Dudie Egmont" was also by "Egmont Chief." 

The blood of this farm is also showing" up on many of the best 
horses that are now raised in Kansas and Nebraska, also in foreign 
countries. It was not appreciated as it ought to have been at the time 
and as results show it was entitled to. Such animals as "Dudie x\rch- 
dale." 2:oT,y2. etc., showing two of the best track horses ever in races, 
were raised in Butler county. 

Next came C. B. Dillenbeck &: Son, who perhaps have made more 
money out of the "fast horse" Ijusiness of their own raising and develop- 
ing than any one in the county. Their stock is know^n wherever horse- 
men get together. A list of some they developed and sold, driven prin- 
cipally by W. E. Dillenbeck, one of the firm, and one of the best drivers 
known, is furnished by the senior member; First came "Julia D." 2:1414, 
which campaigned two years and sold for $1,000; second came "Herbert 
Master." 2 :i7^. which won e^•ery race he started in and then was shipped 
East and brought $1,750; next came "Alelba." 2:17^, which we raised, 
and gave her the above record ; then came "Daisy Dorff," 2 :ioJ^, proving 
to be one of the greatest race mares in Kansas ; then came the great 
"Symbol Meath." 2:07^/2, raised and developed by us, winning in ptu'ses 
in 1913, $3,100. We still have him and "Daisy Dorff;" also eleven head 
of registered mares and colts undeveloped from such brood mares as 
"Thisby D." and "Daisy Dorff." The bunch is very promising and we 
expect more 2:10 trotters from among them. Of coiu'se. there were 
manv others engaged in the business in the countv, but the above will 
illustrate the development of trotting stock. 

The draft horses of all kinds and descriptions came in with the 
settlers of from a1x)ut 1869, but the business of raising for market was 
not entered into exclusively until J. W. Robison started his Percheron 
farm on the AMiitewater. about four miles north of Towanda, in the 
eighties, which was developed by him and, since his death, by his son. 
J. C. Robison, until its reputation is world-wnde, and is one of the 
great live stock institutions of the country. Mr. Robison, being an im- 
porter of the finest stock of his kind money will purchase, goes person- 
ally to France, the home of the Percheron, for his supply. 

"Casino," one of his importations, was a prize winner at the Na- 
tional live stock show of France and is the winner of 115 first and 
sweepstake prizes in America. The annual sales of the stock of Mr. 
Robison are attended by the horse buyers from throughout the United 
States and amount in value to man}- thousand dollars. 

The Bishop Brothers, of Towanda. are engaged in the same line 
and are adding to the reputation of the Whitewater country for Per- 
cheron stock. Their sales stables are located in Towanda and their con- 


stantly increasing business is the best evidence of the popvilarity of 
themselves and their stock. 

The only ones now called to mind engaged in the business of raising- 
mules for market was W. H. Bodecker, of western Butler, and William 
Alorti, of Little Walnut, both successful in their line. There were in the 
county in 1916, 18,434 horses and 5,233 mules. 

The first cattle brought into the county probably came without the 
knowledge of their owners. The change in ownership was affected be- 
tween two days. Coming from Arkansas, Texas and the Indian Terri- 
tory, these cattle were grazed here for a time and then marketed, either 
here or by driving farther north and east. Sometimes, but not often, a 
portion of the cattle would be recovered by the owners, and in getting 
possession of them it would happen occasionally that a man or two 
would disappear, and would not be heard from afterward. 

These were the days when might made right, when courts were 
presided over by Judge Lynch, whose jurisdiction extended beyond that 
of all other courts, and sometimes beyond civilization, and whose jurors, 
being composed of the witnesses, seldom failed to agree upon a verdict, , 
and instead of a hung jury, the same or something similar was applied 
to the defendant, so that after a few sessions of this court, the consent 
of the owners was first obtained before taking the cattle. 

During the winter of i860, J. D. Connor and some others had a few 
head of cattle, and on account of the extreme drouth, feed was very 
scarce, and in order to save their cattle, they went into the timber in 
January and February of that year and cut young elms for the cattle to 
feed upon, and this kept them alive until grass came. The only instance 
known of w^intering cattle on timber and the only county in the world 
Avhere it is possible to do so. 

In the fall of 1872, many "through cattle" were diven up from Texas 
and sold to various parties. The winter of 1872 and 1873 was very se- 
vere, and practically all of these cattle died and left the owners with 
some experience and many hides — the removing of the hides furnishing 
employment during the late winter and early spring. The carcass would 
be fastened to something that would hold, the hide loosened on the head, 
and after a cut or two with a knife, a team was hitched on and started up, 
taking or stripping the hide from the critter. 

The first man to engage in the business of raising cattle was one 
Penrose Johnson, north of El Dorado. Afterward he and family were 
drowned in the Avest branch of the Walnut river ; this was in 1866 or 
T867. He had about 100 head of cows, full blood long-horned Texans, 
with graded bulls brought from the east. He was followed by Mr. 
Harsh, father of the Harsh boys of Sycamore township. 

A Mr. McCabe, father of Ex-Representative D. L. McCabe. Clint 
Arnold. T. W. Satchell and others. J. W. Gaskins and borther, living on 
the land lately leased by J. W. Teter for oil and gas purposes, handled 
quite a number of Indian cattle from 1868 to 1870. 


About this time, John Teter commenced the business of buying, sell- 
ing and speculating in cattle and was very successful. His advice to 
those desiring" to engage in the business was, "Buy 'em young, even if 
you have to pay a little more than they were worth ; they will grow while 
you sleep." 

Later on, almost, every farmer, especially after the Herd law had 
]:)ecc)me effective, handled more or less cattle until the business of rais- 
ing, buying and selling, feeding and pasturing has become of such mag- 
nitude that the county ranks first in li^^estock, held, fed, marketed and 
slaughtered in the State and the live stock has become and is the prin- 
cipal industry in the county, particularly in the eastern half. Not only 
cattle upon a thousand hills but frequently a thousand cattle upon a hill. 

The early settlers will all remember the first real cow that was 
l)rought into the county. She was tied behind a prairie schooner and 
came at various times and in various places. She lived on the end of a 
lariat rope attached to a picket pin for the first six months or a year. 
And from this simple hint or start, has been developed an industry, that 
has put more money into the pockets of the people generally, more food 
upon the table, disposed of more crops at a better market and has done 
more to bring the county into prominence than any and 'dl other indus- 
tries and agencies combined — unless perhaps the oil A d gas business 
has been guilty of so doing within the past six month-. "^There are now 
in this county more and better high grade, thorough jfer"'.- fine blooded 
cattle of different breeds than any county in the world. '' " 

The Ayrshires of E. T. Harper of Benton township ; 'tfhe Brown 
Swiss by Dohlmn & Schmidt, and the Red Polled, the best in the state, 
by C. E. Foster of Prospect townshij), the Jerseys by Clyde King and 
Charles Coulter of El Dorado and F. W. Stewart of Long View Jersey 
farm of Rock Creek township, the Holsteins by Clyde Girod and J. C. 
Robison, of Fairview township, and others in various portions of the 
county, are all putting their owners on easy street. 

With the greatest and finest bred herd of Herefords in the world 
owned, l^red and sold by Col. Robert H. Hazlett at "Hazeford Place," two 
miles north of El Dorado, a herd that has made Butler county prominent 
as a fine live stock center and has brought purchasers from practically 
every state in the Union, including some from South America and the 
Hawaiian Islands, to buy at prices running from himdreds to thousands 
of dollars for a single individual animal. 

There were in this county in 1870, the date of the first statistics, 
5,536 cattle. There are now, in 1916, 123.751 head of cattle. 


By J. J. Johnson. 




The pioneer of I'utler county had but little to encourage his horti- 
cultural instinct. He found but few. if any, berries and fruit growing- 
wild. Then there \\:as the wide expanse of prairie without a tree or 
bush to gree*: his eye, yet along the banks of the creeks was the always 
inviting tim1 r. No "xA.pple Seed Johnnie" had preceded the pioneer into 
Kansas and eje were onh- a few wild fruits such as wild grape, plum, 
pawpaw, a- a n-yilberry to be had. The only edible nut was the W alnut 
which wa.^ J:)undant along the streams. 

It > as no fault of Mother Nature that these wide prairies w^ere not 
covered with valuable trees, shrubs, and wild fruit, for the destructive 
prairie fires swept the prairie and took everything before them. 

The pioneer, before leaving his home in the East, saw on his map 
that Butler county was on the border on the great American desert, and 
the thought of making a home in the desert or even near one was not 
encouraging to the easterner. One pioneer told the writer that he came 
with fear until he reached Fort Scott, and there he found on the sur- 
ve3'or's records plenty of trees such as walnut, hackberry, oak and 
hickory, marked as witness trees, after that he hurried to take a claim. 

The walnut trees, that gave the name to our Walnut river, were the 
alluring "something" that caused many families to settle in Butler 

The first orchards were planted in the bends and protected places 
along the streams ; they surely thrived and did well in these places. A 
trip in the early eighties of several thousand miles from Kansas, across 
Missouri and Illinois and up the Ohio valley and back, revealed no apples 
trees finer tn look at or more heavily ladened with fine fruit, than these 
little lUitler county orchards along the streams. The seedling peach and 
the native wild plum were the "upland" settlers" main fruit. They served 
the double purpose of windbrake and fruit trees. 

The pioneer orchards are all gone now. for the diseases and insects 



brought into the county have taken the pioneer trees as well as the pres- 
ent day orchards. For the same reasons it is now almost impossible to 
gather the wild plums that many children of the pioneer remember gath- 
ering by the tub-full. Who doesn't remember the good jam and pre- 
serves of the wild plum? 

The settlers from the eastern part of the state brought with them 
the strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry plants and there were soon an 
abundance of the fruit, where the plants were set out and cared for. For 
some reason these berries would not grow wild in this county, even 
though they grew wild a few miles out of the county. In the adjoining 
county of Greenwood, the writer has seen the roadside literally lined 
with wild strawberries and the protected places along fences crowded 
with wild blackberry and raspberry bushes. 

In the early eighties there were still many of the pioneer orchards 
left. Some of these apple trees measured six feet in circumference with 
the limbs and branches loaded with as much as forty bushels of market- 
able fruit. It was about this time that many orchards, in fact all the 
present day orchards, were set out. With these trees were brought in 
the many destructive diseases and insects to ruin the fruit and trees. 

The study of these diseases has been nearly an impossibility on 
account of the nature of a plant disease. The organism causing a disease 
cannot be seen with the naked eye and hence it has not been known of, 
outside of the science laboratory. But at present the lack of knoAvledge 
of these diseases is brought home pretty close, for all our orchards and 
their products are being ruined by disease as well as by insects. 

Without doubt the most destructive diseases, when they are present, 
are the rots, both black and brown rot of peach, apple, pear and plum. 
The apple, peach and pear scab, although bad in most localities, are not 
known to be present in this county. Apple blotch is a very serious dis- 
ease on the fruit at present in the county. Then the blister canker is kill- 
ing many of the apple trees. Of the berry diseases the cane blight and 
orange rust of the blackberry and raspberry and the strawberry leaf spot 
are the worst. Black knot of plum and peach leaf curl are very bad. 
Cherry leaf spot that causes the leaves to fall early in the summer wdll 
soon kill all of our cheeries. The fire blight on both apple and pear are 
ruinino' those trees. These diseases are all controlled bv either cutting 
out affected parts or spraying with different concentrations of lime sul- 
phur or Bordeaux mixtures. 

Among the insects that are spoiling our trees and their products are 
the codling moth, canker worm, plum curculio and apple tree bores. 
These may all be controlled b}- spraying with lime sulphur or Bordeaux 
mixtures which contain arsenate of lead, paris green or some similar 

The pioneer found conditions for growing fruits much better than 
now for if he could grow a good tree he was sure of a good crop of 
apples, at least every other year. Smudge pots, pnming, spraying and 
all other modern treatments were unknown. 


A glance at the figures of the money paid for trees, plants, vines and 
other horticultural stock, with the expense of developing such fruit to 
bearing, we would say they were quite impossible. One man in Butler 
county put $10,000 in fruit trees and the care to bring them to bearing 
age and $20,000 to maintain the orchards, and yet he has never received 
so much as interest on his investment. 

Another thing that has been much against the horticulturist is that 
he has planted much that was not adapted to soil and climatic conditions. 
This is one thing the Butler County Horticultural Society tried to elim- 
inate. The writer has seen as fine Bellflower apple trees as ever grew 
and yet they would not mature one bushel of apples. The same can be 
said of many other varieties. Yet that desire of the homesteader to have 
the "old home fruit" caused them to keep planting non-adapted fruits. 
Then, too, we must realize that this is a stock raising county and stop 
to think: Is there anything in common between the common stock raiser 
and the horticultural farmer? 

It has been a discouraging proposition for the pioneer as well as the 
modern horticulturalist with rabbits, grasshoppers and drouth to contend 
with. Is it small wonder that we have so few fruit trees when there 
were 100 trees in 1890 to one in 1916. 

The farmers, who loved the trees, vines and other beauties of the 
farm, organized the Butler County Horticultural Society in 1872 with 
Lewis Maxwell as president and M. D. Ellis as secretary. 

This society was associated with the Agricultural Society for a while, 
but later disunited, and the Horticultural Society held its meetings at the 
homes of the members. The annual all-day meetings were always very 
enjoyable with the dinners, papers and discussions. This was a pioneer 
association which the younger generation failed to keep up. The pioneer 
who was most prominent with this association was W. H. Litson. who 
did much for the horticultural interest with his advice and his nursery 
of all kinds of trees, shrubs and vines, which he had on his farm near 
Benton. J. W. Robinson was creative in all his efforts to make the farm 
home more beautiful with fruit, shrubs and profitable forestry. R. J. 
Ratts was very active in his efforts for new and better fruits. Dr. 
^^'illiam Snyder and son had a little nursery near Towanda and to make 
the home more beautiful was their desire. The quaint and genial char- 
acter of Charles Moinheinweg is the one character sure to be remem- 
bered by all. C. C. Armstrong, Dr. M. L. Fullinwider, E. C. Rice. T. II. 
Jones and J. F. Thompson were for orchards commercially, and they set 
out many fruit trees in different parts of the county. Rev. S. F. C. (iarri- 
son, William Price, Harry Jones, "Sorghum" Smith, L. M. Parker and 
John Houser were all very much interested in liorlicultural pursuits, 
and they, with many others, set out good orchards all over the county. 
W. E. and J. W. Boellner had a small nursery at Leon in 1884. Mr. 
Wender had another small nursery just west of Leon, from which 
some fine trees were put out. He had hundreds of varieties and some of 


liis trees are still in bearing. Along the Whitewater valley, J. W. Robin- 
son set out many good orchards on his farms. In fact, almost every 
pioneer home had a good orchard in that part of the county. The writer 
will never forget the fine fniit served the Horticultural Society at the 
home of Mr. and j\Irs. Chain. 

The largest orchard ever set out in Butler countv was near El Do- 
rado and owned by T. H. Jones and J. F. Thompson. There were 22,000 
fruit trees and 250 acres devoted to fruit. There were 18,000 apple trees 
of thirty varieties; 3,000 plums of fifteen varieties ; 500 peaches of twenty 
varieties ; one acre of blackberries of three varieties ; one acre of raspber- 
ries of three varieties ; one-fourth acre of gooseberries of three varieties. 
200 cherries of five varieties ; quinces of three varieties ; grape of twelve 
Of all these varieties and fruits only a few paid, and of apples they were: 
Red June, Early Harvest, Maiden Blush, Jonathan, Grimes Golden, and 
A\'inesap. The plums and quinces never paid. Of the peaches, the Craw^- 
ford, champion, and Elberta paid best. Of the apricots the Moorpark 
and Golden. Of the cherries the English Morella, Early Richmond and 
Montmorency all did well. Of the pear the Kiefer, Duchess and Seckle 
w^ere best. Of the grapes the Concord and Woden ; the Kittiteny black- 
berry, the Gregg and Mammouth cluster raspberry, and the Houton 
gooseberry all paid well. The orchards were set out and cared for and 
are now owned by the writer. 

Dr. ]\I. L. Fullinwider set out a forty-acre orchard that was the best 
cared for and paid best of any orchard in the county. The Ed Rice 
orchard never paid. The R. J. Ratts orchard was not a success, yet Mr. 
Ratts always had some good fruit to sell. The William Price and AY. O. 
Rafferty orchards w^ere both poor investments. Mr. Price cared for his 
orchard with much expense and grew fine trees but he never reaped what 
he expected. 

The Jones-Thompson orchard was just about typical of all Butler 
county orchards. So from the records and experiences of the pioneer we 
can set out orchards and gardens of the best adapted varieties of fruits, 
and really hope to make them pay. The modern home orchard and 
garden should contain two Red June, two Early Harvest, two Maiden 
Blush, two Grimes Golden, five Jonathan and five Winesap apple trees ; 
eight Early Richmond, two English Morella and two Montmorency 
cheery trees ; five Champion and five Elberta peach trees ; six Kiefer, 
three Duchess and three Seckle pear trees ; 200 Kittiteny blackberry 
plants ; 200 Kansas raspberry plants ; 200 Dunlap and 200 progressive 
strawberry plants ; tw^enty-five Houten gooseberry plants ; twelve Con- 
cord and six Worden grape vines ; 100 asparagus plants ; twenty-five rhu- 
barb plants and a bed of horseradish. With the home garden of the 
above varieties every home in Butler county can have an abundance of 
horticultural products the year around. These varieties have all been 
tried out on both upland and bottom land, and are most resistant of 


There was much more of the love for the beautiful in nature in the 
pioneer farmer, although he had the struggle to conquer, than the modern 
homemaker. In the meetings of the Horticultural Society^ the only 
thought was to make the farm home more beautiful with nature. Is this 
love for nature and care for trees past? And is the tendency of the mod- 
ern farmer to destroy and ''clear up" so as to make more money? 

The native trees are a delight to the inhabitants of the county. Our 
cities are among the most beautiful in the state on account of the trees. 
Then our streams and rivers are lined with beautiful groves. Of our 
shade trees the elm ranks first. The white elm is first of all other elms — 
the red, the water and the cork. 

The burr oak is as Lowell speaks of it, 

"There need no crown to mark the forest king, 
His leaves outshine full summer's bliss. 
His boughs make music of the winter air. 
He is the gem of all the landscape wide." 

There are few other species of oaks in the county ; among them the 
Chincapin and yellow oak are most plentiful. 

The black walnut, hackberry, pecan and pawpaw are much appreci- 
ated because of their edible fruits and nuts. The walnut, of course, ranks 
first with its beautiful foliage as well as its nuts. 

The mammouth cottonwood, the beautiful white limbed sycamore and 
the wdiite hickory are to be found in abundance along our streams and 

The coffebean, honey and black locust, boxelder, buckeye, mul- 
berry, and black ash have their place on the prairies, in the ravines, and 
along our river banks. 

Last, but not least, are the willows and redbud. The redbud as a 
prophet is known by all, for who doesn't watch for the bloom of the 
redbud to tell when the fish will bite? 

There are only a few native cedars in the county, although cedars 
are the most common evergreen. The most of them are not native. The 
Scotch and Austrian pine and Chinese and common arbivitae have all 
become quite well adapted to the soil of our county. The osage orange, 
catalpa. maple and persimmon are so well adapted to Butler county that 
they are often named among our native trees. 

The timber along our streams and rivers has increased much since 
pioneer days. The pioneers set out groves of native trees on the prairie 
around the homestead but the prairie fires nearly ruined them. The 
remains can be seen of these groves but they never have really pros- 
pered. At present the natural re-foresting is doing much for our timbers 
and even making new groves where the young trees are allowed to grow. 

The lack of education and culture did not find a place in the 
thoughts of the pioneer homemaker. for the flowers and natural beauties 


appealed to them and made life worth living- without it. The wife and 
mother- of the home had her flower beds and flowering- shrubs to care 
for. A pioneer home once viewed by the writer was beautiful with its 
tall lilac hedg-e, and various hedges of June roses, japonicas, and flower- 
ing almonds and currants, clumps of bridal wreath, flags and tiger lilies; 
the sweet williams, pinks, and many other beautiful annuals. It was not 
only these that made the home all that it was, for the prairie gave forth 
a fraerance and beautv that fixed on the memory of the natives of Butler 
county an everlasting heritage. From early spring wnth its adder's 
tongue, field daisies, violets, sweet williams, bleeding heart, heart's ease, 
wild roses, evening yellow and w^hite primrose, mallow, foxglove, and 
spiderw^ort; to summer with its sunflower and fall with its aster, golden 
rod and cardinal flower. With all these beauties all around us we do not 
need to go abroad or even to any other state or county to see the beau- 


By X. A. Yeager. 




The municipal growth of Butler county was greatly retarded in the 
early settlement of the county by lack of fuel for manufacturing pur- 
poses, coal at that time being all the fuel used. It was impossible to pro- 
mote manufacturing industries. The coal fields in southeastern Kansas 
were the only source from which they could draw. \Miile the heavy 
timbered valleys of the rivers and streams in Butler county afforded 
ample fuel for domestic purposes, it's use for industrial purposes was not 

The citizens of Wichita in 1879 drilled a deep test on Central avenue 
road, near the Butler county line, to a depth of about 1,300 feet. Their 
further operations were prevented by reason of the salt water. From 
that hole a small flow of gas escaped and for several years afterwards 
children in that vicinity played Avith the curious phenomenon. It. how- 
ever, was not regarded as of any importance. This, probably, was the 
first indication of gas west of the Flint hills. 

In 1882 a well was sunk in Riverside, El Dorado, to a depth of 900 
feet. An artesian flow of salt water was obtained and a salt factory for 
the evaporation of this product was operated for a short time. A deep 
well was sunk at Potwin in 1887, ^7 Charles W. Potwin, who owned a 
large body of land near that town. This well was drilled to a depth of 
about 800 feet but nothing of importance was discovered. 

In 1878 the first company was organized in Butler county for the 
purpose of drilling for oil on a location southwest of El Dorado and a 
town was started and one or two business houses located there. The 
town was named Oil City. It was never incorporated, however. It 
was said this location was selected and revealed by a medium to 
some believers of the occult, as favoral^le for oil. This well was drilled 
to a depth of about 200 feet and abandoned for the want of funds and the 
town disappeared and the location of this hole is only known to. a few of 




the earlier inhabitants of the county. After the discovery of gas and oil 
in the Chanute and Neodesha fields there was a great deal of discussion, 
especially in the towns, concerning the probability of discovering min- 
erals here. 

Geologists and experienced oil and gas men were consulted but their 
reports were very discouraging. The universal opinion of these men 
was that no gas- or oil existed west of the Flint Hills. It became abso- 
lutely necessary for the further development of the towns in Butler 
county, that gas as a fuel should be obtained. 

At Augusta, a corporation was organized by the business men and 
farmers in that locality. It was called the Augusta Oil, Gas, Alining and 



Prospecting Company. In 1904, this company proceeded to sink a pros- 
pect hole near the junction of the Sante Fe and Frisco railroads at Au- 
gusta. The first hole was sunk to a depth of 1,335 feet, then the con- 
tractors abandoned the hole on account of water. A second well was 
drilled to a depth of 1,830 feet. At 1,415 feet a good flow of gas was dis- 
covered, which can safely be said to be the first discovery of gas west of 
the Flint Hills. This well was drilled to a depth of 1,830 feet, when con- 
tractors abandoned it and the hole was never sunk deeper. At the bot- 
tom of this hole a slight showing of oil was discovered but not of suffi- 
cient importance to warrant further exploration. 

The Augusta Corporation surrendered its franchise to the citv and 



the city voted bonds and to<ik up the development of o-as for municipal 
})urposes. During this time a deep test well was sunk in section 23-26-7, 
south of Rosalia by a Kansas City company. This location was selected 
by S. J. Hatch, a noted authority on oil and gas geology. This well wag 
abandoned after drilling to a depth of 2,100 feet against the strong pro- 
test of this noted geologist. Some of the citizens of Augusta, in the 
meantime, made a study of the geological formations of this county and 
discovered an anti-cline in this locality, the well defined break w^as dis- 
covered east and south of that citv on which the city located its gas 
wells. It might be added that these wells were not by chance, but by a 


thorough study of all the geological information that could be obtained 
at that time. 

In 1907 the Wichita Natural Gas Company drilled two test wells 
one southeast and one southwest of Augusta. A Wichita corporation 
also drilled a test well to a depth of 1.600 feet in the same year in section 
6, Bloomington township, without results. Tests for this gas sand w^ere 
also made at Benton and El Dorado and Douglass without apparent 
results. The Wichita Xatural Gas Company drilled three wells in the 
Augusta field, near the city wells, and obtained gas to supply their line 
to El Dorado. Futher development for gas ceased until 19 10 when the 
Skaer Oil and Gas Comi)anv commenced to develop its leaseholds, after 


which the \\'ichita Natural Gas Company secured leases and preceded 
to further develop the gas field. The first deep test for oil was made 
on the northwest quarter of 21-28-4 by the Wichita Natural Gas Coni- 
pany. At present it extends practically across the county from north 
to south, the heaviest deposits discovered being- in the vicinity of Au- 
gusta and El Dorado. There are at the present time, June, 1916, about 
150 producing- gas and 50 oil wells in the Augusta field and about 160 
now in process of development and about 200 oil wells with some heavy 
gas producers in the El Dorado field, with prospecting rigs so numerous 
that it has the a])pearance of a forest. Much of the oil in the El Dorado 
field is found at a depth of from 500 to 700 feet while the best producers 
are from 2.000 to 2,600 feet in the balance of the Butler county field. 

On account of the low price of oil and the monopoly of the leases 
in the vicinity, the development was greatly retarded. The develop- 
ment of gas has been lost sight of in the mad scramble for oil and many 
valuable gas wells have been mudded in, or wasted to procure the more 
valuable product, and it may be regarded as a safe estimate that suffi- 
cient gas is now being wasted and used in drilling in the Butler cotmty 
field to supply the domestic consumption for one-half the population of 
the state of Kansas. 

The extent and value of the oil field is yet imknown and cannot now 
be estimated and future development can alone determine. The prices 
paid the land owner for privilege of prospecting, speculating and devel- 
oping are of such magnitude that the average man looks on witli 
amazement, and all fail to comprehend the wonderful change in condi- 
tions. The passing from daily toil to affluence is taking place so fast 
and so frequent among those unaccustomed to wealth that the fairy 
stories of boyhood, tales of the miraculous and the ordinary brainstorm 
become tame in comparison therewith and how to invest or what to do 
with the wealth thus suddenly acquired is a problem difficult for them to 
solve. No people on earth are more entitled to the prosperity attendant 
upon this industry than the people of Butler county, none could ap- 
preciate it more and among no others wotild humanity be more greatly 
benefited or a general welfare of the people be advanced to a larger 


By J. B. Adams. 










The banks of Butler county at this date, ]\Iay i, 1916, are very pros- 
perous, and their prosperity is merely an index to the financial condi- 
tion of the people of Butler county. The banks in El Dorado city hold 
at this time $1,700,000 of deposits and the banks outside of El Dorado 
hold at this time the aggregate of Si, 600,000, making the total bank de- 
posits of Butler coitnty foot up the extraordinary total of $3,300,000. 
With a population of less than 21.000 on March i, 1915. this makes 
right at $150 for every man. woman and child in the county. 

Very few counties in the United States can point to so large an 
aggregation of deposits in proportion to the population. It must also 
be remembered that only a small part of this aggregate is due to the 
oil field that is just now opening up so wonderfully, since the total bank 
deposits of Butler countv are only $200,000 greater than they were a 
year ago. on this date and a portion of this increase is at the same time 
due to the good crops of T915 and the higher prices prevailing for ag- 
ricultural products in consequence of the European war. In fact, the 
oil field has created a drain upon deposits through the processes of de- 
velopment and investment to such an extent that it may be that the 
entire increase of deposits is due to agriculture and the great cattle in- 
dustry of this county. Indeed, it is not certain that deposits would not 
have been larger at this time had the oil field not have been discovered. 
Of course, it is certain that from the opening of the field enormous in- 
crease in banking deposits will ultimately result, insuring immeasurably 
to the benefit and prosperity of all the people of Butler countv. 

There are now the following banks in Butler county: Eldorado — 
The Farmers and Merchants National Bank, the El Dorado National 



Bank, the Citizens State Bank and the Butler County State Bank. 
Augusta — The George W. Brown & Son State Bank and the First Na- 
tional Bank. Douglass— The Exchange State Bank and the State Bank 
of Douglass. Whitewater — The Bank of \A'hitewater and the Peoples 
State Bank. Leon — The State Bank of Leon. Latham — The People's 
State Bank. Benton — Benton State' Bank. Towanda — The Towanda State 
Bank. Potwin— The Potwin State Bank. Rose Hill— The Rose Hill 
State Bank. Elbing— The Elbing State Bank. Cassoday — The Casso- 
day State Bank. Rosalia — The Rosalia State Bank. Beaumont — The 
Beaumont State Bank. Andover — The Andover State Bank. 

The first bank established in Butler county was the Walnut Valley 
Bank, a private bank, organized by J. S. Danford, J. C. Fraker, W. P. 
Gossard and C. M. Foulks. Mr. Foulks was one of the pioneers of 
Butler count}' and a partner of N. F. Frazicr in the mercantile business 
and father of J. C. Foulks, who is now one of the bank examiners of 
Kansas, and a resident of El Dorado. The bank was first established 
where C. H. Selig's drug store now stands and was shortly m_oved 
across the street on the lot now owned by ]\L J. Long, next door south 
of the present Butler County State Bank. This was in 1871. The 
building, a frame structure, now occupied by James Dodwell, pioneer 
harness maker, was the bank's home, constructed on the JNI. L f-ong 
lot. John Campbell, now a printer in San Diego, ,Cal., was assistant 
cashier of this first bank of Butler county. 

The next bank established in Butler county was the Brown Brothers' 
Bank at Augusta, no wthe George W. Brown & Son State Bank of Au- 
gusta. George W. Brown, now deceased and at the time of his death 
one of the wealthiest, if not the wea.lthiest, man Butler county ever pro- 
duced, and his brother, C. \\'. Brown, now a prominent banker and 
wealthy citizen of Wichita, came here from Iowa, looking for a location. 
They came by Stage from Abilene and dropped in on J. H. Betts and N. 
F. Frazier, who were running one of the pioneer mercantile establish- 
ments in El Dorado. Finding that a bank had already been established 
in El Dorado, they went to Augusta where the United States land office 
was located. Mr. Betts said they were so anxious to get to Augusta that 
they did not wait for the stage but took their luggage and walked to 
Augusta and decided to move their Brown Brothers' Bank which they 
had established in Iowa in 1869, and this they did in 1872. The bank 
afterwards became George AV. Brown & Son's State Bank, C. W. Brown 
selling his interest and moving to Wichita and Warren E. Brown, the 
only son of George W. Brown, becoming associated with his father. \\\ 
E. Brown still owns and runs this bank at Augusta and is recognized as 
one of the most conservative and successful bankers and business men 
in Kansas and is perhaps today the richest man in Pjutler county. The 
father, George W. Brown, whose name stood ahvays for stability, safety 
and integrity of the highest order in Butler county, died in February, 
191 5. at an advanced age., The third bank established in Butler county 


was the First National liank of El Dorado ou the conspicuous and his- 
toric corner c^f Main street and Central axenue in El Dorado. Ihe pres- 
ent two-story brick building now occupied b}- the present Farmers and 
Merchants National 15ank, was erected in 1873 by Gordy & Gault, as the 
home of the First National Bank, promoted by J. S. Danford and J. C. 
Fraker and absorbing the \\ alnut Valley Bank. This bank w-as sold by 
Danford to W. P. Gossard and his son, Alvin Gossard, and soon failed. 
It is said by old timers that the bank w-aj; in a failing condition when 
bought by the Gossards and that they w^ere deceived at the time of the 
purchase as to the bank's real condition. Feeling aggrieved because he 
had a small deposit in the failed bank. T. O. Shinn, afterward a lawyer of 
prominence in Butler county, visited the home of W. P. Gossard, and 
Mr. Gossard was shot. Mr. Shinn was generally believed to have fired the 
shot, but was tried and the jury failing to agree, the case was never tried 
again. The Gossards were fine men of excellent character and were not 
criticised for the failure by those wdio were familiar with the conditions 
and circumstances under which they bought the bank. The fact that 
they lost all they had themselves was conclusive evidence of their good 
faith. Another bank failure occuring in Butler county was a small bank 
at A\'hitewater, which had been moved over from the neighboring town 
of Brainerd and failed about the year 1890. G. P. Neiman, now^ cashier 
of the Bank of Whitew^ater, a pioneer of Butler county and one of the 
safest and most successful bankers and business men in the county, 
was the receiver of this bank. 

The First National Bank of El Dorado, after its failure, was suc- 
ceeded by the Exchange Bank of El Dorado, founded by S. L. Shotwell, 
now deceased, and Niel W'ilkie, now a respected citizen of Douglass in 
this county. It afterwards became the historic Exchange National 
Bank, which, in its palmiest days, had $100,000.00 capital and a large sur- 
plus. A. L. Redden was president and H. H. Gardner, cashier. Judge 
Redden was at one time district judge and one of the leading lawyers 
of Kansas. H. H. Gardner, a native of Canada and a pioneer merchant 
of El Dorado, was one of the best known bankers in the state, and helped 
to found and organize the Kansas Bankers' Association in connection 
wath John R. Mulvane of Topeka and a few other prominent bankers of 
the state. George W. Brown of Augusta w^as vice president of the bank 
and J. D. Rearick, one of the clearest headed and shrewdest men ever 
engaged in the banking business in Butler county, as assistant cashier. 
F. R. Dodge, an educated gentleman, a fine penman and an expert 
accountant, was bookkeeper in this bank for twenty years. Failing- 
health caused him to resign and he went back to his old home in Ohio 
and died a few }ears ago. 

The Exchange National Bank finally ])assed into the entire control 
of George \\'. ISrown of .\ugusta, after many stormy incidents in its 
career, \lr. Brown as vice president and a large stockholder being com- 
pelled to come to its rescue, in which he was associated with his brt^thcr. 


C. \\ . JJrown. Finall}- on January- i, 1897, ^Ir. Brown sold the bank to 
the Farmers and Merchants National Bank and the two banks were con- 
solidated. Robert H. Hazlett. X. F: Frazier, E. C. Ellett and H. H. 
Gardner were the officers and largest stockholders of the Farmers and 
Merchants National Bank at this time. 

The fourth bank established in El Dorado was a partnership pri- 
vate bank owned by N. F. Frazier and E. C. Ellet. now a banker of May- 
field. California. It was known as the Bank of El Dorado. Messrs. 
Frazier and Ellet conducted it most successfully, building it up from 
$10,000.00 capital to $80,000.00 out of its own earnings. They sold the 
bank after several years to \\\ T. Clancy, a wealthy and successful man, 
who afterwards liquidated it. confining himself to the loaning of his own 
funds. The sale to Mr. Clancy took place in about 1888. The next bank 
organized in El Dorado was the Merchants Bank, with Gen. Alfred \\ . 
Ellet as president and N. F. Frazier as cashier. This bank became the 
[Merchants National Bank of El Dorado, with 'Sir. Frazier and Ed C. 
Ellet the leading stockholders. In 1892 Mr. Hazlett bought a big block 
of stock in this bank, and it was called the Farmers and Merchants Na- 
tional Bank, w^ith ]Mr. Hazlett as president; G. H. Parkhurst. vice presi- 
dent, and Ed C. Ellet, cashier. Mr. Parkhurst was succeeded in the vice 
presidency by H. H. Gardner, wdio had been cashier of the Exchange 
.National Bank. 

Ed C. Ellet. now of Mayfield. Cal.. was a leading factor in 
the banking business of El Dorado for twenty-five years and one of the 
most public-spirited and patriotic men. as well as one of the ablest, who 
ever lived in Butler county. Belonging to an old, wealthy and distin- 
giiished family and having a keen interest in all public matters, he was 
always a leader of great influence and power. 

The leading banks of Butler county are now officered as follows : 
Farmers and [Merchants National Bank of El Dorado. $50,000 capital; 
$50,000 surplus; A. J. Holderman, president; C. C. Shriver. vice presi- 
dent; \\^illiam I. Shriver. cashier; A. B. Ewing, assistant cashier. C. C. 
Shriver and AViliam I. Shriver own a controlling interest and are very 
wealthy men, of fine character. El Dorado National Bank, $50,000 capital ; 
S23.000 surplus; Robert H. Hazlet. president; J- E. Dunn, vice president; 
Robert H. Bradford, cashier, and S. R. Clifford, assistant cashier. Bobert 
H. Hazlett and his nephew, RobertH. Bradford, own a controlling inter- 
est. ^Ir. Hazlett is the largest landowner in Butler county ; owns one 
of the finest and largest herds of registered Hereford cattle in the United 
States, is president of the American Hereford Bredders' Association and 
is believed by many to be the richest man in Butler county. He is a 
shrewd, far-seeing-, hard-working business man, giving careful and 
intelligent attention to his varied and extensive interests and is one of 
the most public spirited men in Butler county. 

Citizens State Bank of El Dorado, $50,000 capital ; $28,000 surplus ; 
R. E. Frazier. president ; N. F. Frazier. Jr.. active vice president ; AV. E. 


Brown, vice president; C. E. Thompson, cashier, and F. H. Cron, assist- 
ant cashier. R. E. and N. F. Frazier, Jr., own a controlling interest in 
this bank and are sons of N. F. Frazier, who died on August 8, 1907. X. 
F. Frazier came to El Dorado in 1868, and was first associated with J. 
H. Betts in the mercantile business, but soon devoted himself largely 
to banking, and at the time of his death, had accumulated one of the 
largest estates ever left in Butler county. The writer was associated 
with him for many years in the banking business in El Dorado. His 
interests were numerous and most extensive ; he was an indefatigable 
worker; a man of indomitable purpose and courage; a stickler for fidel- 
ity and loyalty who made his word as good as a bond and required 
others to do the same ; and was not only considered so by many, but was 
one of the shrewdest, keenest, boldest and safest business men and bank- 
ers that the State of Kansas ever produced. I pay this tribute to his 
memory in this special way, lest such an opportunity may never again 
present itself for my so doing. 

Butler County State Bank of El Dorado, $25,000 capital ; 87,000 sur- 
plus; C. L. King, president; E. F. Adams, vice president; J. B. Adams, 
cashier; H. F. Ferry, assistant cashier; L. D. Hadley, teller. J. B. 
Adams owns a controlling interest in this bank, which was founded on 
June 5, 1909, and is the last bank to be established in El Dorado. George 
A\\ Browm & Son State Bank of Augusta, capital $25,000; surplus. 
$25,000; L M. Brown, president; W. E. Brown, cashier; R. A. Haines, 
assistant cashier. W. E. Brown owns a controlling interest in this bank, 
a fuller history of which is heretofore given. First National Bank of 
Aug-tista, $25,000 capital ; $7,000 surplus ; F. H. Penley, president, and W. 
A. Penley, cashier, is a substantial institution, with a constantly in- 
creasing business. 

Exchange State Bank of Douglass, $25,000 capital; $8,000 surplus; 
D. P. Blood, president; W. E. Brown, vice president; C. P. Blood, 
cashier; A. B. Chauncey, assistant cashier. D. P. Blood and his son, C. 
P. Blood, own a controlling interest. D. P. Blood, the president, is one 
of the pioneers of Butler county. He first established himself in the 
mercantile business at Augusta and afterwards at Doug;lass and was 
very successful. He is a large landowner and one of the very wealthy 
men of Butler county. By close attention to business, sound judgment, 
high character and al^solute fidelity and integrity, he has built up a for- 
tune and gained the respect and confidence of tlie i^eople of his com- 
munity and county. State Bank of Douglass, $10,000, capital; $10,000. 
surplus; J. E. House, president; J. B. Adams, vice president; J. A. M\d- 
dlekauff, cashier; and O. P. Cottman, assistant cashier. J. A. ^liddle- 
kauff owns a controlling interest in this bank and is one of the safest and 
most conservative as well as successful bankers in lUitler county. He 
devotes himself exclusively to banking and stands very higli among the 
bankers of the county. 

State Bank of Leon. $10,000 capital; $5,000 surplus; M. W. Mar- 



shall, president, and W. S. Marshall, cashier, own a controlling interest. 
The bank has its home in the Marshall building, built in honor of the 
father. 11. H. Alarshall, now deceased, who was a pioneer, a man of 
great business capacity and unswerving integrity and who accummulated 
in his lifetime one of the largest estates ever left in Butler county. The 
^larshall building is one of the finest in Butler county, although located 
in tlie fourth town in size. 

Peoples State Bank of Latham, capital, $10,000; surplus, $10,000; 
J. P. (iarnett. president, and J. Ed Rankin, cashier, own a controlling- 
interest and are among the best business men in Butler count}' with an 
institution of which they may well be proud. 

Bank of Whitewater, $50,000. capital and surplus ; is one of the 
strong banks in Butler county; 1. H. Xeiman, president; George P. Xei- 
man. cashier, and J. D. Joseph, assistant cashier, make a strong combina- 
tion. I. H. and G. P. Xeiman are pioneers of the county, large land- 
owners and business men of exceptional character and capacity. ]\Ir. 
Joseph is. at present. State senator from Butler county, and is not only a 
splendid banker but a splendid public man of unusual ability and unques- 
tioned patriotism. 

Peoples State Bank, Whitewater; capital, $15,000; surplus, $10,000; 
A\". M. Finch, president; G. B. Hanstine, cashier. ^^^ H. Barker, one 
of the substantial men of the community, is vice president. The bank 
enjoys a growing and prosperous business. Benton State Bank. Ben- 
ton; capital. $10,000; surplus. $16,000; is one of the strong small banks 
of the county ; James Parks, president ; L. L. Lane, vice president ; Clyde 
McGrew, cashier. Mr. McGrew, the cashier, is recognized as one of the 
most careful, able and successful bankers in the county. 

Towanda State Bank, capital, $10,000; surplus, $10,000; J. C. KuU- 
man. president ; A. C. Higgins, vice president ; F. W. Robison, cashier. 
Mr. Robison belongs to one of the oldest and richest families in the 
county and is one of the best business men in the county. He gives 
close personal attention to his business, and his bank is constantly grow- 
ing Potwin State Bank, capital, $14,000; surplus, $15,000; J. S. Joseph, 
president; H. A. Kaths. cashier; J. O. Litner. assistant cashier. This 
bank was founded by William L Joseph in 1904. and is a very strong 
institution. The president. J. S. Joseph, is one of the w'ealthy and able 
business men of the county, and is widely known for his integrity and 

Rose Hill State Bank, capital. $10,000; surplus, $10,000; James Mc- 
Cluggage. president; W. X. Harris, vice president; J. F. McCluggage, 
cashier; F. J. McCluggage, assistant cashier. The controlling interest 
is owned by the ^^IcCluggage family, one of the. oldest and strongest in 
the county. Elbing State Bank, capital. $10,000; surplus, $5,000; FL 
Jansen, president; E. W. Melend, vice president; D. C. Crosby, cashier. 
Mr. Crosby is one of the most careful and thorough business men. and 
the condition of his bank reflects his ability. 


Rosalia State Bank, capital, $10,000; surplus, $3,000; R. H. Hazlett, 
president; F. S. Liggett, vice president; J. H. Liggett, cashier. This is 
one of the new banks of the county and is under able management. 
Cassoday State Bank, capital, -$10,000 ; surplus, $3,000; L. Harsh, presi- 
dent; O. S. Reed, vice president; Lyman D. Benton, cashier. Mr. Harsh 
is one of the old pioneers of the county and a very wealthy man. Mr. 
Benton is a very capable young man with more than usual business 
abilitv, and while Cassoday is an inland town the l)ank is prospering-, and 
the town is growing. 

Beaumont State Bank, capital, $10,000; surplus, $6,000; James Ed- 
gar, recently deceased and one of the splendid men of Butler county, 
president; W. H. Squires, vice president; F. T. Hopp, cashier; J. C. 
Squier, assistant cashier. Mr. Hopp was trained in a Kansas City bank, 
and is making a fine success of the Beaumont Bank, which is one of the 
new banks of the county. The Andover State Bank is just started. S. 
B. McClaren is president and is one of the successful business men of 
Butler county, recently removed to Wichita. 

Butler county is fortunate in the kind and character of her banks. 
They are well officered and well managed and command the confidence 
of the people. Every bank, though many are small, is strong, the bank- 
ers of the county are friendly and co-operative and work together for 
the strength of their respective institutions and for the g'eneral welfare. 
The old bank fights of early days are a thing of the past and the banks 
co-operate for the public good and the general welfare, better perhaps 
than in any other county in the state. 

I have written into this record the- exact facts as nearly as they can 
be ascertained and trust that any inaccuracies that might possibly be 
found will be but very slight, as I am firmly convinced they are. 

Butler county is signally honored at this time in having the bank 
commissioner of Kansas, in the person of Hon. \\'illiam F. Benson, who, 
for many years, was active vice president of the Citizens State Bank of 
this city. Mr. Benson was appointed to this position two years ago by 
Gov. George H. Hodges, who had served in Kansas State senate with 
Mr. Benson vvhen Mr. Benosn represented Butler county. Mr. Benson 
has made an ideal commissioner, his knowledge of practical banking, his 
long experience and sound common sense, being the necessary requisites 
to the proper conduct of his office. 


By F. S. Allen. 



About the year 1883, a certain electrical construction company, 
located in the eastern part of the United States, was manufacturing a 
telephone switchboard which was an infringement on the then existing 
patents covering such apparatus, and a far-sighted Uncle Samuel, ever 
mindful of the protection granted to struggling inventors, decided that 
the switchboard above mentioned should not be allowed to endure and 
thrive. So an order was sent out that these boards should be confis- 
cated, wherever found. It so happened that there was, at that time, in 
use at Peabody, Kansas, equipment of this make, and in order. to destroy 
it, government agents one day went to Peabody to take the board, but 
when they arrived there, there was not a sign of any such apparatus. 
These officials hunted high and low for several months and finally gave 
up their search, and the disappearance of the old Peabody switchboard 
became one of the mysteries of early day telephony in southern Kansas. 

Several years later, sometime in the late nineties, O. R. Cline. now 
a resident of Long Beach, Cal., after considerable hard work and 
many vicissitudes, started a small telephone exchange at El Dorado, 
county seat of Butler county, Kansas. "Started" is the right word to 
use in this connection, for as far as we can learn, there was never a real 
organization of a company or formal opening of the exchange. Our 
pioneers in the telephone game were untutored in the profession, and 
for the most part, men of small means, and their exchanges grew only 
as they accumulated the money to extend tlieir lines. AA'ell. any way, 
when the exchange started at El Dorado, there, as natural as life and 
just as crude as ever, stood the old outlawed switchboard which years 
before had disappeared from Peabody. It is said that to this day, never 
a man has been found that could tell of the "doing's" of the old board 
from the time it "strayed" from Peabody, until it was "discovered" at 
El Dorado. 

And that, dear reader, is about all that I can tell you of the begin- 
ning of what has, until recentlv, been known as the Butler Countv 



Telephone and Electric Company. It is known that for some vears Mr. 
Cline conducted an exchange at El Dorado, and that the exchange grew 
under his management, and then the possil)ilities of the new industry 
beginning to make themselves known, a company was organized, on a 
sound financial basis, and this company bought out Mr. Cline. The 
exchange at El Dorado thus became the nucleus and headquarters of 
the Butler County Company. 

The stock of the Butler County Telephone and Electric Company 
was all held by parties in Butler county. The organizers and officers 
were not telephone men, and it soon became apparent that someone with 
a broad knowledge of the business should have active management of 
the affairs of the company and about this time there was recommended 
to them a young man then connected with the Central Union Telephone 
Company, operating in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, who desired to aAail 
himself of Horace Greeley's famous advice, and came west where there 
was to be found health, wealth and happiness. After certain encour- 
aging correspondence, this young man came to El Dorado, and as he 
and company decided that they should be mutually benefitted by the 
connection he was offered the superintendency of the company, and 
accepted it, and Charles H. Parker thus became associated with the 
strong directorate of men in charge of the affairs of the organization. 

Under Mr. Parker's supervision, proper construction, operating" and 
maintenance methods were put into effect and with good service and 
extensive toll connections and courteous treatment, it was soon found 
that the company was taxed to -its utmost to provide facilities for the 
ever-increasing business, but it has always endeavored to take care of 
the demand for rural service and toll business. Toll circuits were con- 
structed to reach every point in Butler county, and were met at certain 
points by lines of the Missouri & Kansas Telephone Company thereby 
giving the local organization long distance service to all Bell points. 
In time it was necessary to build a modern plant at El Dorado, and in 
addition exchanges were opened at Augusta, Douglass, Towanda, Ben- 
ton, Leon and Chelsea. From the sixty stations purchased from ^Ir. 
Cline, the company grew, in a few years, to over 2200 stations, and over 
400 miles of toll circuits. 

It was about this time that oil and gas activities began to manifest 
themselves in Butler county, and the company, realizing that they could 
not hope to keep up with the growth of business and population, and 
believing that the interests of the ])eople could best be served by a 
larger and more extensive operating company, an offer was made to the 
Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company, which purchased the entire 
holding of the Butler county company. The deal was closed early in 
March, 1916. The Butler- county company operated the property until 
April 1. at wliich time the active management was taken over by the 
Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company. 

A word should be said regarding the men who for years so success- 


fully conducted the affairs of the old Butler county organization. The 
president was A. J. Holderman, president of the Farmers and Mer- 
chants National Bank of El Dorado, and for years a member of the State 
legislature ; vice president, John Ellis, retired farmer and vice president 
of the Farmers and Merchants National Bank; secretary, F. S. Allen. 
al)stractor, and Superintendent Charles H. Parker. Besides these men, 
on the Board of Directors were: W. F. Benson, state bank examiner; 
R. H. Hazlett, president, El Dorado National Bank; ^^^ I. Shriver.. 
cashier. Farmers and Merchants National Bank, and R. H. Julian, a 
druesist. These men are all substantial business men of El Dorado 
and have the entire confidence of their neighbors and associates. They 
have helped to make El Dorado the thriving commercial and agricul- 
tural center that it is. 

Charles H. Parker, who has been retained by the Missouri & Kan- 
sas Telephone Company as district manager of the newly created El 
Dorado district of the western division, began his telephone career at 
the age of sixteen as a groundman for the Central Union Telephone 
Companv in central Illinois, and remained wath that company for twelve 
vears. acting in many capacities, having been local and district manager 
at several exchanges. He came west because he thought there were 
better opportunities for a young man. and has never regretted that he 
took the step. 


By H. L French. 







The first school was held at Chelsea in i860. Miss Sarah Satchell 
was the teacher. It was a private school which interested families sup- 
ported. Other communities grouped themselves similarly and after 
D. L. McCabe, the first superintendent, was duly qualified for duty, these 
groups were organized according to law as school districts with indefi- 
nite boundaries, and were numbered in order of organization from one to 
ten. The attitude of the early settlers on the school question is thus 
set forth in an annual report of 1870: "Our citizens have shown a com- 
mendable spirit in making provision for the support of schools. Scarcely 
has the settler built his cabin and planted an acre of ground before he 
has inquired, 'Where is the school?' And, forthwith, as b}- the touch of 
some magic wand a district has been organized and a school com- 

The succeeding superintendents continued the formation and or- 
ganization of school districts. But the w^ork grew more difficult as the 
number increased, and the first districts were reduced to form them. 
The paralyzing effect of these perfunctory matters on the school work 
of the early superintendents is set forth by Samuel S. Shotwell in his 
second annual report (September, 1871) : "The organization of school 
districts and the alteration of district lines, should be in the hands of the 
county commissioners. The superintendent's usefulness is much im- 
paired l)y this duty, as it is hardly possible to make the lines of dis- 
tricts suit all. Some one must l)e in a corner, and those who feel espe- 
cially aggrieved charge the superintendent with the whole blame and are 
ready to oppose any measures he may suggest for the betterment of the 
schools." And in 1874, at the close of the '"grasshopper year," Superin- 
tendent S. L. Roberts reports: "Districting is still a bone of contention 



here. One year more — had times remained prosperous — and this un- 
pleasant work Avould be finished." It took six years longer, however, for 
it was not until al)out 1880 that the 168 districts of the county took their 
present form and were outlined by Superintendent J. W. Shively in the 
record book still in use. 

The State law made it the duty of the count}- superintendent to hold 
a normal institute. The first one was held at El Dorado the last week 
in September, 1871. Prof. Lee of Leavenworth was present two days 
and forty teachers Avere in attendance. Several of them renderd valu- 
abl assistance in the conduct of the exercises. The normal institute 
has been held annually since that time. It has been a wholesome force 
in the intellectual growth of the county. Except for one session held 
at Augusta in April, 1872, the meetings have always been held at the 
county seat. There has been considerable variation in attendance, in 
purpose, and in methods of work. About 1892 saw the high water mark 
in attendance, when over 300 were enrolled. The work then was purely 
academic. The 3^oung people came from the common schools. Very few- 
had any high school or college training. The efficiency of the times 
in this way kept pace with the needs and requirements. A few years 
later such preparation did not satisfy the modern requirements of edu- 
cation. Now at least 95 per cent, of the attendance have had high school 
training and many have college work to their credit. The summer ses- 
sions of the State schools and colleges have become successful rivals 
for the attendance of the teachers, and the laws of 191 5 provide for a 
change from the four-week to a five-day institute, with a consequent re- 
arrangement of the course for methods and professional work alone. 

The first County Teachers' Association was held at the close of 
the first institute in 1871. Its purpose was "to advance the educational 
interests of the county, to aid in educational reforms and to disseminate 
correct views of education and create a public sentiment in their favor." 
It has persisted through the years for its value was soon seen. It pro- 
vided for the personal contact and direct discussion of the teacher's daily 
problems as well as for inspirational talks from educational leaders. In 
later years it has been more directly influential in the daily work than 
ever before. Attendance is required as a part of the professional work 
of the teacher and the school 1)oards pay $1 as expense to the teacher for 
each meeting attended. It has been broken up into grade, rural and high 
school sections, with discussions adapted to each section ; and the 
teachers feel a personal interest and responsibility. 

Courses of study Avere provided by the State in the early seventies, 
but in the true sense of the word there were no grade schools in those 
days. At El Dorado and Augusta in 1874 there were more than one de- 
partment and a consequent separation of pupils according to age, but 
the course was not followed according to law. Gradually the two- 
teacher schools, or graded schools, were able to follow the courses of 
study, but it was long the custom in the rural schools to begin at the 


first of the book at the opening of school and read through the readers 
and work as far as possible in the arithmetic; and next term to repeat 
the process. The adoption of a uniform series of text books and the 
lengthening- of the school term from three months to seven, in 191 1, 
at last enabled the rural schools to get on a grade basis. Now the 
course of study is closely followed and pupils complete the common 
school work in nine years inthe rural schools. 

In 1890, fifty pupils took the examination for a common school 
diploma; in 1900 there were 143. The first commencement for these 
pupils was held by C. W. Thomas, in 1903. There were sixty graduates. 
Exercises have been held each year since that time. By 1914 the attend- 
ance and interest in these occasions had so increased that it was neces- 
sary to hold them in the park. In 191 5 there were over 400 applicants, 
including those carrying grades, and 236 graduates. The commence- 
ment exercises were held in Gordy park in Ji^^ne and were attended by 
a large number of pupils and patrons from all parts of the county. Col- 
lege presidents, senators and governors have given addresses at these 

The first school house in El Dorado was a log cabin. In 1872, there 
were twenty-eight log school houses and five of brick and stone. By 
1874 there were seventy-four frame and thirteen stone school houses. 
At the present time there are 136 rur^l school houses. The frame build- 
ings of those earlier days were suited to their times. That many of 
them should be still in use is the inconsistency. The towns changed 
readily to buildings of the modern type. The Barnes law requires certain 
material equipment in buildings and apparatus. The ten schools meet- 
ing these requirements all have good modern structures. The five other 
grade schools have very satisfactory buildings. The legislature of 1915 
arranged for a rural school inspector to give State recognition to districts 
maintaining standard rural schools. Modern buildings, with walks, trees, 
shrubs, proper lighting, and in all ways approaching the sanitation and 
conveniences of the town school are required. Five schools are meet- 
ing these requirements at the present time. 

Butler county did not embrace the opportunity to organize a county 
high school under the provisions of 1897. This left it free to profit by 
the provisions of the Barnes law of 1905. This gave a great impetus to 
secondary education and existing high schools were enlarged and 
strengthened. One or two-teacher schools at Rose Hill, Andover, Lath- 
am and Towanda have in the ten years developed into fully accredited 
high schools, w^ith three or four teachers in the grades. Barnes schools 
are democratic, providing free high school courses almost at the door of 
pupils and keeping the pupils in touch with the farm home instead of 
educating them awav from it. Barnes schools, with two courses and 
fully accredited, are now maintained at El Dorado, Augusta, Douglass, 
Rose Hill, Andover, Towanda, Potwin, Leon, Latham and ^^^^itewater. 

State funds for maintaining courses in agriculture, domestic science 


and normal tl"ainin^■ in these schools are also provided. In the six years 
since the normal training' classes have been organized scores of young 
teachers, graduates of high schools and recog-nized by the State by 
normal training certificates, have taken up the Avork of teaching. This 
. has raised the professional standard for teachers and given a higher pro- 
fessional ideal. 

In 191 1 and 1912 the superintendents of the Barnes schools organ- 
ized the Barnes High School League for contests in debate, oratory, 
reading and track work. The first president was H. I. French, then 
of the Leon schools. The first meet was held at El Dorado. This has 
been an incenti\'e to the intellectual development as well as to the physi- 
cal development of all i)upils in these high schools and, reflexly, to all 
pupils in the comity. It has sharpened the respect of one school for 
another. Douglass especially has profited by the opporttmities offered, 
for. in 1904. the superintendent of that school arranged for the first 
track meet ever held in the county between the high school and a team 
from Southwestern. And the little boys who watched that day have 
carried off the lion's share of the honors for Douglass, but trophy 
cups and pennants have gone to every part of the county. 

The rural schools have had their contests, too. In 1913 and 1914 
a county-wide contest in spelling was arranged for both grade and rural 
schools. In 1914 and 191 5 a high school section was added and an inter- 
county meet held at Wichita. The young people of Butler had become 
so thorough in the work that thc}^ took all the honors in this contest 
with representatives frorii Cowley, Sumner, Sedgwick and Harper. Agri- 
cultural contests, reading contests, school displays of various sorts have 
also been had. We mention these things because it shows the deeper 
interest of our people in the more vital side of educational training. 
The vision now is not the letter of the text book, but an efficiency, a 
comprehension of what it requires to make life worth living, home a 
pleasure, the State and nation a benefactor to every individual, regard- 
less of wealth or social position. 

The first school house in El Dorado was a log cabin, which was 
built by public subscription, perhaps in 1869, in which Jane Wentworth 
taught a class of about fifteen pupils. In 1869 and 1870 the old stone 
building which stood on the corner of Eirst and Washington, opposite 
the residence of ]\Irs. George Ellis, was erected at the cost of about 
S2,ooo. The first regular school was conducted in this building in the 
winter of 1869, by Dr. Edwin Cowles. Erom that time on the teachers 
in charge of the city schools have been: 1870, T. R. Wilson; 1871, John 
Snyder; 1872, Charles Moore; 1873, J. C. Elliott; 1874 and 1875, E. C. 
Brooks; 1876, Z. M. Rilev; 1877, George Edwards; 1878, 1879 and 1880. 
E. \\'. Hulse. 

The El Dorado high school was organized in 1881, under the super- 
intendency of E. ^^^ Hulse, who continued as the superintendent through 
the year of 1882. The superintendents since the organization of the high 


school have been: 1882, E. W. Hulse; 1883, Alfred McCaskey; 1884 and 
1885, O. E. Olin; 1887 and 1888. H. C. Eord ; 1889. C. F. Gates; 1890 and 
1891. W. H. Ferich ; 1892 to 1898, inclusive, Lemuel Tomlin ; 1899 to 
1903, inclusive, W. M. Sinclair; 1904, Ida Capen Elemming; 1905, C. A. 
Strong; 1906 to 1909. inclusive, Warren Baker; 1910 to 1912, inclusive, 
B. F. Martin; 1913 and 1914, J- B. Heffelfinger ; 1915 and 1916, J. W. 

The Central school building- was discovered to be on fire at 2:30 
o'clock a. m.. Thursday, by E. B. Cook and others, w^ho immediately noti- 
fied the neighbors. H. W. Schmucher, who lives just north, says the* 
fire was burning fiercely in the west room of the lower story when he 
was called at 2 :30 o'clock. The Central office notified the bo}^ at Stin- 
son's barn, l)ut it was nearly 3 o'clock before the fire bell rang. Hose 
carts arrived, but too late to be of any avail. The night was very cold, 
with a biting northeast wind. Many people in the immediate neighbor- 
hood knew nothing of the fire until the building was completely en- 
veloped, while two-thirds of the town knew nothing of it until after 
school hours this morning. Dozens of children went to school this morn- 
ing who knew nothing of the fire until they saw the blackened ruins of 
their school house, while many went home with the tears streaming 
down their faces as they in their little hearts mourned the disaster. 

El Dorado boomed mightily along in 1870, 1871 and 1872. The 
little walnut frame house, that stood back from Main street, and near 
where the Haines store now is, had been abandoned and a one-story 
stone building, 24x40, was put up on lots 6 and 7, costing $1,000 dollars. 
School opened in this building in October, 1870, with seventy-six pupils, 
with William Price as teacher. Bonds to the amount of $10,000 were 
voted in 1871. Charles Wait drew the plans for a square, barn-looking 
building, with peep holes for windows, and a man by the name of 
Richards, of Humboldt, came over and put up the building. It was partly 
finished and ready for occupancy in the summer of 1872, and on Septem- 
ber 23 sixty-five teachers attended the county institute, held in the new 
building. S. L. Shotwell was county superintendent. Dr. Gordon, H. 
T. Sumner and E. L. Wheeler were the school board. Before school 
opened, in September, the building was used for dances. Mrs. Murdock, 
who was then unmarried, came out from Maryland to organize and take 
charge of the school. She opened the first schools in the building, there 
being no stoves and but few seats, the upper room being unfinished. 
Charles Moore and Miss Hattie Gartman were the assistant teachers. 
They found it rather hard sledding that winter, as the building was as 
cold as a barn. In November. 1872, S. L. Robards was elected county 
superintendent ; in January he appointed Nettie O'Daniel and Rev. W. 
M. Stryker as associate county examiners. 

Mrs. Nettie O'Daniel, "principal of the El Dorado Academy," called 
a public meeting for the purpose of raising money to buy a school bell. 
Henry Fall, mayor, and others signed the call. W. M. Stryker and Mrs. 


O'Daniel pushed it along- and raised the money to buy the bell that has 
been so long in use in the Central building, which went to destruction 
this morning. 

The school house was used for Sunday schools, church services, 
political meetings and dances for some time ; and, if we mistake not, 
the first Episcopal Sunday school meeting in the town was held there. 
For years it had been used for the annual meetings of the county insti- 
tutes ; and, we might add, that many boys, who afterward turned out 
to be useful citizens, got their jackets tanned Avithin its historic walls. 

On May 12, 1879, ^ meeting was held in district No. 3, which includes 
the city, to submit a $4,000 bond proposition. The bonds w^ere voted 
May 15, 1879. There were 248 votes for the bonds and five against. 
The contract was let to S. R. Watson, June 17, for the two-story stone 
addition on the west, for v$3,465. C. N. James, director; L. B. Snow, treas- 
urer, and Vincent Brown, clerk, were the school officers at that time. 
The main building, with the addition and furniture, cost the district 
about $17,000. It contained six rooms, with recitation rooms, and was 
heated with coal stoves. L. D. Hadley, principal, Gertrude Dick, Mary 
Schmucker, ]\Iabel Morrison, Lela Allen and Juniata Adams were the 
teachers in the building. 


By George F. Fullinwider. 




The history of the religious services and class organizations of the 
early days of the settlement of Butler county is meager, indeed. No 
really authentic record has been preserved, and the best that can be done 
is to rely upon the memory of those yet living who were a part of the 
little band that had the courage to camp in the wilderness and make 
home and fortune of the then unbroken prairie, with the coyote, the 
Indian and the buffalo as neighbors — and very few of them are now 

Diligent research has established the fact that, so far as is known, 
the first religious service ever held in Butler county was in the spring 
of 1858, when Rev. Mr. Morse, a Congregationalist minister, came to the 
settlement at Chelsea and, after visiting the homes, announced a meeting 
to be held in Lewellyn's grove, and there, beneath the scant shade of 
the small trees, with the canopy of the heavens for covering, the entire 
settlement 8:athered to hear the message from the Word of God. Rev. 
Mr. Morse continued his occasional visits for a period of about two years. 
Rough and uncouth, as many of his hearers were, he was accorded the 
heartiest reception and cordial welcome. 

During that same years, 1858, there came also a colony of Swedes, 
who located on the upper Walnut river and on DeRacken creek. One 
of their number. Rev. Mr. Winberg, settled on Cole creek, on what is now 
the Fullinwider farm. He was a devout man and interested in the 
spiritual welfare of those about him. He interested his brother Swedes 
and others in the settlement and held weekly services in the homes of the 
settlers for miles around. He was a Lutheran preacher. A little later. 
Miss Maggie Vaught. now Mrs. H. O. Cliittenden, and a ]\Iiss Minnie 
Post, begged rough lumber from a saw mill located in that vicinity, and 
Avith their" own hands seated a deserted log cabin on the farm now owned 
by Phineas Osborn and occupied by his son. J. Hugh Osborn. This old 



log cabin served their ])urpose for a meeting house and centrally lo- 
cated as it was, it was easily accessible to all within the limits of the 
settlement. Not satisfied with fitting the meeting house, Miss Vaught 
next organized a Sunday school, and, so far as known, this was the first 
Sunday school in the county. Rev. Mr. Weinberg was its superintendent. 
In the fall of i860, James S. Saxby, a Baptist minister, came from Clear 
Lake, Iowa, and located just east of what is now the Holderman farm, 
near Chelsea. He, too, held services in the old log cabin. His methods 
were imique. He was a regular subscriber of a Xew York weekly paper, 
and it contained Beecher's sermons, and these he would commit at the 
noon hours and during the evenings. He would then rehearse' them as he 
followed his plow and on Sunday deliver them to attentive congregations. 
They were always appreciated, and many looked forward to the coming 
of the next Sunday, wdien the}^ would be able to hear and enjoy another 
of Beecher's sermons. Xot every family was able to have a paper arrive 
in the weekly mail, and the whole community was thus kept posted on 
the sermons of that eminent divine. Rev. Mr. Saxby, in later 3'ears, 
moved to Douglass, where he preached two or three years. 

The first sermon preached in western Butler was near Towanda, 
in 1862, at the home of D. H. Cupp, who still occupies his old home- 
stead, by Rev. Wilson Harer, who then lived about six miles north of 

In i860, J. D. Chamberlain, a missionary among the Choctaw In- 
dians, came and took charge of the Sunday school w^ork of Butler county. 
He remained about a year and returned to his old home in Massa- 
chusetts. Xo record was ever kept of the results of his labors. 

The first Methodist minister of which there is any recollection 
was a circiiit rider, Rev. Mr. Stansbury, wdiose home was at Belmont, 
a little town near Piqua. which has long since passed out ofexistence. 
Then came Rev. A\ illiam Stryker, in 1870. Following him came Rev. 
Mr. Rice, a Methodist presiding elder, wdio lived at Burlington, Coffey 
county. He came quite often and preached at Chelsea. A little later, 
Rev. ^^'illiam Hartman, of Florence, came and organized a class at 
Chelsea and for a time they held regular services. Rev. Mr. Hartiuan 
also embraced El Dorado in his itinerary and, I believe, organized the 
first Methodist class in El Dorado. 

About the same time. Rev. James Gordon, a brother of the late Dr. 
J. P. Gordon, came to El Dorado and preached for the Presbyterians. 

The first Presbyterian class organized was at Chelsea, by Rev. John 
M. Rayburn, the father of Mrs. George W. Stinson, of El Dorado, in 
the new school house, wdiich had then just been completed. Rolla 
Lakin and J. B. Shough were among the elders and served foiu" years. 

In 1869, the Friends church was organized in Southwest Butler, in 
Pleasant township, soon after Michael Cox located at Rose HilL The 
first meetings were held in the homes of the people. The permanent 
organization was effected in Rose Hill in 1878 and named the Friends 


church. The first biiildino- was erected in 1881. It was but 24x36 feet. 
The membership numbered about 100. Later a more commodious edi- 
fice was built and the membership increased to about 225. Jonathan P. 
Ballard was the first resident minister. He came here on October 24, 
1876, from Hamilton county, Indiana, and drove through with his team. 
Mr. Ballard died at the home of a daughter in Wichita, in October, 19 15. 
It is worthy of note that the Friends church of Rose Hill is the mother 
church of all churches of that denomination in adjoining counties, includ- 
ing Wichita. 

In April. 1871, the board of county commissioners ordered "that 
religious meetings may be held in the county court house. No special 
privileges were given to any one church societ}'. and meetings of a 
public nature may be held there. Free use was given to citizens of all 
])arts of the county." 

Abotit this time the Presbyterian class in Chelsea, having become 
disorganized, Rev. Crothers, a Presbyterian minister, who had been 
preaching in El Dorado and other points, went to Chelsea and perfected 
a reorganization, which remained for years. (This was Samuel Mechord 
Crothers, now a writer of note. — Ed.) 

Other pioneers of several denominations came and went, but no 
record exists of their efforts. Their names are not now remembered 
and they cannot be located. Much good was accomplished by them and 
they did their share toward taming the wilderness and, in many in- 
stances, the wilder residents thereof. The seed sown by them fell upon 
good ground and has multiplied many fold. Only eternity, with its fault- 
less leader, can reveal what they accomplished. The influence of their 
labors and teachings has spread and augmented until scarcely a home 
in Butler which has not its family altar, and the family circle is made up 
of God-fearing and God-loving individuals. The spires of nearlv a hun- 
dred churches in town and country througliout the county point heaven- 
ward. A hundred Sunday schools convene regularly, where the young 
are taught and the elder ones gain knowledge concerning" their Creator 
and eternal life. Nearly all orthodox denominations are represented, in- 
cluding the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian, M. E. Church 
South, Evangelical, Lutheran. Mennonite, Congregational, Catholic and 
Adventist. The influence of these churches, their ministers and mem- 
bership constitutes a force for good, tlie uplifting of htmianity and the 
promotion of all the graces and virtues that is incalculable. It is the 
foundation of the homes, of society, and is the rock upon which the whole 
superstructure rests and upon which it will immovably repose until 
time shall be no more. 






By H. M. Sinclair. 

The first body of Free Masons organized in Butler county was that 
of IMystic Tie Lodge, No. 74, of Augusta. This lodge received its 
charter from the Grand Lodge of Kansas on October 22. 1869, with the 
following brethren named as its first officers; C. N. James. AV. ]\I. ; T. 
AV. Douelass, S. AA'. : Thomas Stewart, J. AA^ The destruction of its 
records many years ago render it impossible to give the names of the 
charter members. 

]\Iystic Tie Lodge is composed of the best citizenship of Augusta 
and the surrounding country, and is famed both individually and collect- 
ively for its broad-minded charity and helpfulness in time of need. The 
lodge is in a prosperous condition and the membership is now 160. 

The second lodge to receive a charter was Patmos Lodge, No. 97, 
El Dorado, whose authority dates May 19, 1870. with the following 
brethren as its first officers : T. G. Boswell, AA\ M. ; James P. Gordon, 
S. AA'. ; T- C. Lambdin. T- W. ; H. H. Gardner, treasurer; D. M. Bronson. 
secretary ; C. M. Foulk, S. D. ; S. M. Feely, J. D. ; E. S. Gordon, Tyler, 
and the following charter members: C. Ferguson, J. L. Cupples. J. A. 
McKenzie, V. Sain and L. B. Snow. Of the original members of Pat- 
mos lodge, Brother John L. Cupples is the only surviving member. The 
early records of the lodge were destroyed by a tornado in June, 1871. 
and the early work is very undefined, only as it comes down to us by 
oral tradition. The lodge owns its own building which is a fine two- 
story brick structure at the corner of Central avenue and Settler street. 
The rooms are nicely fitted up and the lodge is in a very propserous 
condition. The present membership is 239. 

Douglass Lodge, No. 151, was granted a charter on October 22, 
1874. The officers elected were : Gideon D. Prindle, AA\ M. ; Solomon 
AAlse, S. AA'. ; James J. Harney, J. AA'. ; John S. Johnson, treasurer; 
AA' atson M. Lamb, secretary ; James P. Shanks, S. D. ; Edwin Stevens. 
J. D. ; Joel H. Price, Tyler, together with the following charter mem- 
bers: Joshua Olmstead, John Stalter, Charles H. Lamb, James Kent. 



James F. Gibson, x\delbert D. Lee, Jeremiah Brittingham, E. E. Harney, 
Isaac Renfrew and LaFayette B. Wamsley. 

In the ranks of Douglass lodge are found men high up in religious 
and political circles, always battling for the maintenance of truth and 
the upbuilding of all that is good in the community. The present mem- 
bership is 140. 

Joppa Lodge, No. 223. located at Leon, was granted a charter on 
February 22, 1883, with the following as its first officers: George A. 
Kenoyer, AW AI. ; John J. Brown, S. W.; Charles Tabing, J. W., to- 
gether with the following charter members: Jerry Campbell, Ambrose 
Batt, John L. ]\Ioore, Daniel AA". Poe, Thomas J. Lindsay, E. K. Sum- 
merwell and Joseph Pattie. 

Joppa Lodge has always responded nobly in acts of kindness and 
charity to those in adversity and distress and many a one has reason to 
bless the philanthropy 'of the members of this lodge. The present mem- 
bership is eighty. 

Towanda Lodge, No. 30, although having a number which would 
indicate an earlier organization, did not get its charter until September, 
1885. Its first officers were: E. T. Beeson, W. M. ; John Eddington, 
S. W. ; Andrew Swiggett. J. W. ; A. J. Ralston, treasurer; W. H. Young, 
secretary ; L. M. Pace, S. D. ; Fred Lyons, J. D. ; George Swiggett, 
Tyler, with these brethren as charter members: J. S. Bralev, J. T. Nye, 
B' W. Eakin, J. M. Read, R. S. Miller, Ely Lytle, Charles Mornheinweg, 
Julius Straw and William Snyder. 

Towanda lodge owns it own building, which is a solid structure of 
stone, located in the center of the business portion of the city, and en- 
joys the reputation of being one of the best "working" lodges in this 
jurisdiction. Its membership comprises the best in the commiunity. 
The latch string always "hangs out" to those who are worthy. The 
present membership is eighty-five. 

In the early part of 1886, a few Masons living at Brainard and 
vicinity, being homesick for a place to meet and do Masonic work, con- 
cluded to petition the Grand Lodge for a dispensation tq open and form 
a lodge according to ancient usages. On June 25, 1886, authority was 
given them to work under dispensation, which they did until February 
17, 1887. when the Grand Lodge granted them a charter to be known as 
Brainard Lodge, No. 280, with the following officers: E. T. Eaton, \A'. 
M.; G. W. Neal, S. W. ; J. C. Jewett, J. W. : W. H. Stewart, treasurer; 
M. C. Snorf,, secretary; A. M. Brumback, J. D. ; J. M. Foy, S. D. ; B. V. 
Squire, S. S. ; L. J. Turner, J S. ; H. Dohren, Tyler, and these charter 
members: Isaac N. Carson, Daniel M. Green, AA'illiam C. McCraner, 
John Stuart, Benjamin D. Squires, Thomas T. Stansbury and James V. 

The lodge had a steady and healthy growth until 1892, when the 
Rock Island railroad, having built its road through Whitewater (prac- 
tically leaving Brainard "out in the cold") decided to move to the latter 


place. Brainard lodge, like many others in a new country, had its "tips 
and downs," but still with its eye on that "hieroglyphic bright, which 
none but craftsmen ever saw," pursued the even tenor of their way until 
at the present inie they can boast of one of the best working lodges 
in the States, composed of the very best men in the community and 
enjoying the confidence and respect they richly deserve. The total 
membership is now fifty-eight. 

On February 23, 1913, a charter was granted to How- 
ard C. Tillotson, W. M.; AVilliam Yenter. S. W. ; William H. Brown, J. 
W., together with the following charter members to do all regular Ma- 
sonic work at Latham, to be known as Latham Lodge, Xo. 401 : John 
R. Jarnell, John T. Comstock, Thomas T. Trigg, William IMcKinney, A. 
E. Jones, W. L. Murphy, AV. H. Ellis and Sam S. Wright. 

Although a new lodge, it is forging to the front both in membership 
and in the accuracy of its work. The future certainly looks bright for 
Latham lodge. Its membership is thirty-six. 

The Order of the Eastern Star, an auxiliar}', or appendix, of Free- 
masonry, is in a very flourishing condition in this county. Stars, or 
chapters, being located at practically all places where Masons meet and 
when the hand of a brother Mason is in need of the refinement, grace 
and the soothing presence of woman, some good sister of the order is 
certain to be found. 


By George F. Fullinwider. 

El Dorado Lodge, No. 74, is the oldest and strongest. It was in- 
stituted May 31, 1871, by H. L. Stoddard and the only charter member 
now living, I believe, is H. M. Logan, who also bears the distinction of 
being the oldest in point of membership in continual good standing who 
was initiated in the county, now living within its boundaries. Present 
membership, 177. 

Following closely after this organization was that of Western Star 
Lodge, No. 81, at Augusta, October 19, 1871, by W. A. Shannon, P.' G. 
M. This lodge has passed through many vicissitudes, but has always 
held its charter, and at present is in a thrifty growing condition. Its 
membership numbers one hundred. 

Leon Odd Fellowship has experienced a rough voyage in the past, 
on May 24, 1882, A. H. Dow instituted Leon Lodge, No. 203. After 
struggling for several years, the members surrendered their charter, 
March 20, 1896. The present lodge was instituted October 7, 1905, by 
H. K. Herbert and given the same name and number as the old lodge. 
Number of members, thirty-nine. 

Walnut Valley Lodge, No. 156, Avas instituted in Douglass, May 20, 
1879, by W. A. Shannon, P. G. M. It, too, has had its ebb and flow, 
but is now in good working condition. Membership, thirty-four. 


Benton Lodge, Xo. 255. was instituted April 23, 1885, by \\'illiam 
Mathewson. This lodge has passed through tribulation. At one time it 
lost its hall .together with its regalia and paraphernalia, by fire. It 
struggled to its feet, bought a new site and erected a fine brick build- 
ing, the upper floor of which is occupied for its lodge room. It is now 
in a flourishing condition with fifty-one members and good prospects. 

Milton Lodge, Xo. 268, was first instituted at Brainard, October 14, 
1885. It is now located at AYhitewater. When it was moved or by 
what authority, the records fail to show. Suffice it to say, the lodge is 
comfortably located in its own hall, a new brick building, has a mem- 
bership of forty-seven and is in a flourishing condition. W^illiam jNIath- 
ewson was the instituting officer. 

Beaumont Lodge, Xo. 275, located at Beaumont, was instituted 
January 11, 1886, by J. S. Codding, G. M. It has a membership of 
fifty-five. It is one of the real live lodges of the county and is doing 
good work. 

Potwin Lodge, Xo. 525, at Potwin, was instituted May 20, 1901, by 
B. F. Allebach. This lodge has recently erected a new brick block, the 
upper floor of which is used for lodge purposes. Membership, fift}— 

Rose Hill Lodge, Xo. 557, was instituted September 25, 1903, by 
T. D. Wardell. Its membership now numbers twenty-nine. 

Rosalia Lodge, Xo. 565, of Rosalia, was instituted by H. K. Herbert, 
December 15, 1905. The membership of this lodge is a lively bunch. 
They have a fine degree team in splendid fettle and put on the work by 
the ritual. E. S. Gray is captain of the team. The lodge has a member- 
ship of sixty-three, with good prospects to increase it to one hundred. 

Cassoday Lodge, Xo. 592, located in Cassoday, in northeast Butler, 
was instituted October 8, 1906, by H. B. Rogers. It has a membership 
of forty-eight and they are the substantial sort that make up an organi- 
zation of true Odd Fellows. 

Andover Lodge, Xo. 624, located at Andover, is one of the youngest 
lodges in the county. It was instituted December 17, 1909, by James 
Wilson. Its membershi]) numbers thirty-seven. 

Latham Lodge, No. 637, located in Latham, was instituted Alay 10, 
1910, by W. K. Adams. This is the last and youngest of the lodges of 
Odd Fellows in Butler county, but its membership is made up of the 
best men in the community and its influence is manifest. There are 
thirty-three members. 

Along with the subordinate lodges and working with them in the 
great object for which they stand, are the Daughters of Rebekah. A 
detailed history of the sister organization in Butler countv is at this 
time not available. "It is, however, safe to say that in nearly everv in- 
stance where a subordinate lodge is organized a Rebekah lodge is al- 
most certain to follow. And this is true in lUitler comUv as well as 
elsewhere. It is also safe to say that the oldest lodge of Sister Re- 


bekahs in Butler county is Friendship Lodge, No. lo, of El Dorado. 
The strongest, perhaps, in the county, is Potwin Lodge, and it is. per- 
haps, the most active. 


Bv U. M. Green. 

The first camp of Modern AVoodmen of America in Butler county 
was organized November lo, 1902. Chelsea Camp, No. 8877. with the 
following officers : Creed Hamilton, Counsel ; V. M. Green. Adviser, 
C. E. \Mnkler, clerk. The charter of this camp was afterwards sur- 
rendered, most of the members uniting with the El Dorado camp. 

Camp No. 627. Douglass; chartered June 18, 1888; first consul, J- 
R. McNabb ; first clerk, W. A. Phipps ; present membership, 133. Cam.p 
No. 647, El Dorado ; chartered July 10, 1888 ; first consul. J. F. Wright ; 
first clerk, C. M. Cruncleton ; present membership, 265. Camp No. 902, 
Augusta; chartered April 9, 1889; first consul. J. F. Richardson; first 
clerk, Lem Locker ; present membership, ninety-one. Camp No. 1838, 
Potwin; chartered November 25, 1892; first consul, Joseph Iving ; first 
clerk, G. AA^. Ball; present membership, fifty. Camp No. 3108, Towanda, 
chartered July 25, 1895; first consul. A\\ G. Turner; first clerk, M. 
Orban, Jr. ; present membership, thirty-six. Camp No. 3860, White- 
water; chartered May 9, 1896; first consul, J. W. Stiger; first clerk, J. 
M. Pace ; present membership, forty-nine. Camp No. 408, Benton ; 
chartered July 27. 1896; first consul. J. B. Patton ; first clerk, J. C. Os- 
born ; present membership, twenty-eight. Camp No. 5469, Leon ; char- 
tered March 26, 1898; first consul, E. L. Bornhouse, first clerk, Charles 
H. AA^atson ; present membership, forty-five. Camp No. 4381, Latham; 
chartered June 23, 1898; first consul. \\'. D. Jessup ; first clerk, Roy 
Shafer; present membership, sixty-nine. Camp No. 6694, Andover; 
chartered June 15, 1899; first consul. Henry Hart; first clerk, S. B. 
McClaren ; present membership, forty-seven. Camp No. 3999. Rose 
Hill: chartered September 7, 1899; first consul, J. B. Hall; first clerk. 
A\'. J. Harrold; present membership, thirty. Camp No. 7154, Rosalia; 
chartered October 28, 1899; first consul, \'al Piper; first clerk, C. E. 
Prescott; present membership, thirty-four. Camp No. 7261, Bodarc : 
chartered November 25, 1899; first consul, L Stewart; first clerk, L. T. 
Elder; present membership, thirty-four. Camp No. 11063, Cassoday ; 
chartered January 6, 1908; first consul, J. W. Young: first clerk, W. G. 
Robinson; present membership, eleven. Camp No. 11403, Elbing; 
chartered September 7, 191 1 ; first consul, AV. H. Hallett; first clerk, H. 
H. Cassell; present membership, , seven. Other camps have been organ- 
ized in the county and afterward disbanded and the members uniting- 
with the nearest camp. 


By W. E. Bates. 

At the close of the Civil War, Greeley's advice. "Go West, young 
man, and grow up with the country," Avas followed by a large number 
of courageous, energetic and intelligent young men who had served 
their country valiantly in preserving the union of States unbroken. 
Men of brain and brawn found their way to Kansas, 128,000 of them. 
The rich bottom land and the fertile grass producing upland of Butler 
county attracted many to locate within its borders. They came here to 
make a home and a future for them.selves and their posterity. The de- 
mands and hardships of pioneer life were cheerfully and heroically 
borne. A feeling of comradeship and ties of common service drew them 
closely together. The need of organization soon became apparent if 
the interest in each other was to be kept alive and be of helpfulness in 
their common experiences. Very soon after the founding of the Grand 
Army of the Republic in 1866, organizations of veterans of the war 
sprang up quite generally throughout Kansas. The veterans of Butler 
county, inspired by a spirit of brotherhood, cjuickly fell into line and 
posts were organized at El Dorado, Douglass, Augusta, Leon, Latham, 
Potwin, Towanda, Andover, Benton, Whitewater and Beaumont. 

Interest in comrades of the war spread beyond the limits of the 
local post to comrades of other posts. A county organization was 
formed and meetings of the boys who wore the blue were held annually. 
These reunions were seasons of renewing the youth of old boys. By 
recital of daring adventures and comparison of army experiences, the 
veterans were boys again, fired with enthusiasm and ready to shoulder 
the musket and go forth to repeat the service of other days if need 
should require. 

Of late the county reunions have been discontinued. The boys of 
sixty-one-sixty-five have become old men. Their number has become 
small. The long and often forced marches of active service on the field, 
the manning of rifle pits, the strain of musket fire and bayonet charge, 
the exposure of picket service and sleeping on wet and frozen ground 
are manifesting themselves in enfeebled constitution and lessened phys- 
ical vigor. Probably the last county reunion of the veterans of the Civil 
War has been held. 

The number of com.rades has become greatly reduced. Some of 
the posts of the county have ceased to exist and of those still remaining 
most of them have only occasional meetings. Three posts meet only 
on call; one has meetings only quarterly; two monthly; one semi- 

As the comrades grow older and feebler and their number fewer, 
the tie of sympathetic fellowship between them grows stronger and more 
tender. Only a comrade can enter into completest o^ieness with an- 
other comrade. 


The veterans of the Civil war and their descendants have had a con- 
spicuous part in developing- Butler county and placing it in the front 
rank as a grain and stock raising county. And in education and social 
well being, in morals and religion, in all that makes for the welfare and 
happiness and true good of men and women, individually and collect- 
ively they have been prime movers and active and earnest supporters. 
The people of Butler county of this and coming generations do well to 
recognize their generous and disinterested service and give honor to 
whom honor is due. 

But a few short years will elapse until the deeds of the veterans of 
the Civil war will be only a matter of history and the place they fill a 
fading memory. All will have answered the last roll call and will have 
been mustered out of earthly service. 

"An aged soldier with his snow white hair, 
Sat looking at the night ; 
A busy shining angel came with things. 

Like chevrons on his wings ; 
He said, 'The evening detail has been made, 

Report to your brigade.' 
The soldier heard the message that was sent. 
Then rose and died and went." 

— Ironquill. 


By Mrs. Hattie E. Riley. 

The work of American women in the great war for the preservation 
of the Union was that of relief. Relief on the battlefield and in the 
hospital for the wounded and sick : relief in homes provided for them, 
of the wives and children of the soldiers at the front, as well as for the 
widows and orphans of those who went forth never to return. 

Ten 3-ears after the close of the war much distress was felt among 
the people of the country ; a financial crisis was on ; sickness, old 
wounds, lack of work and bitter disappointment began to make fearful 
ravages in the veteran ranks. 

The Grand Army of the Republic had been doing its utmost to aid 
and comfort their unfortunate comrades, to assist the comrades. 

Then it was that the wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and other 
•loyal women answered again to the call of the men who saved the 
nation. Thus it came about that in the fall of 1883, Mrs. L. L. ^^'ood, 
eager to assist the Grand Army of the Republic and to render aid and 
sympathy to the survi^-ors of the Union, organized, in Wingest Hall, in 
El Dorado, the order known as W. H. L. ^^'allace ^^^ R. C. Xo. 7. 
auxiliary to W. H. L. AA^allace Post of the G. A. R. The meeting was 


composed of Iwenty-seven members, all stanch, true, loyal women of 
the city. After the organization was established a charter was granted 
on November 20. 1883, issued from Boston, Massachusetts, and signed 
by National President Florence Barker. The. charter members of No. 
7 were as follows: Carrie M. McGinnis, E. S. Phillips, Hattie E. Riley, 
S. Beardsley, Mary Ellen Beardsley, Matilda Smith. Mary S. Ball, 
Laura Wood, Nora Steele, Cynthia Daily Oldfield, Laura E. Jay, Ber- 
tha Nye, Lizzie Bearse, Margaret Copeland, Sarah E. Boyden, Lon 
Gordon, Cordelia Story, Mary M. Smith, Laura Tuttles, Dora Jackson 
McAnally, Mrs. Milan, Lydia Stiver, Eliza Gibson, Clara Story, Mary 
Tankersley, Mrs. Olive Colyer and Jennie Flenner. Of these charter 
members only four are living, Mrs. Hattie E. Riley, who has served as 
president ten years; JMrs. Cynthia Daily Oldfield, who is a faithful at- 
tender, and who is proud of the fact that she is a charter member of 
No. 7; Lydia Stiver and ]\Irs. Jennie Flenner, who are not now mem- 
bers of the organization. 

During the thirty-three years of its existence, over three hundred 
members have been initiated into its ranks. They have been of inesti- 
mable value to the W. H. L., Wallace Post, and these old Boys in Blue 
are always glad to testify to the merits of No. 7. 

Not only have they aided and assisted the G. A. R. and perpetuated 
the memory of their heroic dead, but they have assisted all Union 
veterans who have needed help and protection, and have extended aid 
to their widows and orphans by finding them homes and employment 
and assuring them of sympathy and friends. 

For a number of years their meeting place was \Mngert Flail, but 
later the old Methodist church was purchased by \A". H. L. Wallace 
Post, and ever since the W. R. C. meets twice a month in this beautiful 
G. A. R. hall on Settler street. One would think, as the ranks are 
growing thinner, that their interest would lag, but not so with A^^ R. C. 
No. 7. Their love for the remaining few seems to grow stronger and 
their ambition to cheer and comfort is something admirably beautiful.' 
In conclusion, let us say that the life history of W. R. C. No. 7 has been 
that of loving service, and we are reminded of Thomas Buchanan 
Reed's beautiful poem: 

"The maid who 1)inds her warrior's sash 
And smiling, all her pain dissembles 
The while beneath her drooping lash 
One starry tear-drop hangs and trembles, 
Though heaven alone records the tear. 
And fame shall never know its story. 
Fler heart has shed a drop as dear 
As e'er bedewed the fields of glory. 

The wife who girds her husband's sword 
'Mid little ones v»'ho weep ar.d wonder. 


And bravely speaks the cheering word, 
Although her heart be rent asunder, 
Doomed nightlv in her dreams to hear 
The bolts around him rattle, 
Has shed as sacred blood as e'er 
\\^as poured upon the field of battle. 

The mother who conceals her grief 
As to her breast her son she presses, 
The mother who conceals her grief. 
Kissing the patriot brow she blesses, 
AMth no one but her secret God 
To know the pain that weighs upon her. 
Has shed as sacred blood as e'er 
A\"as poured upon the field of honor." 

The ladies who have served as president are • Mrs. Conley, Cath- 
erine Wells, deceased ; Clara Doughty, deceased ; Hannah Pattee, de- 
ceased ; Maggie Ripley, Hattie E. Riley, Mollie Avery, Alcuida Fisher, 
Marietta McCormack ; Laura Woods, deceased ; Annie AA^ardell, Cyn- 
thia Daily Oldfield ; Mary Douglass, deceased ; Dr. Emiline Tanner, 
deceased ; [Eliza Gibson, deceased ; rElizabeth Collet, Lillian James, 
Libbie Ford, Addie Gardner, Sarah Boyden. 


By H. M. Logan. 

The Anti Horse Thief Association was founded by Major David 
McKee in 1876. The first State assembly of the order was held in Hum- 
boldt in 1882. 

The order is all that its name implies and much more. It is an 
association of law abiding, peaceable and liberty loving citizens banded 
together for mutual protection and fraternal assistance to make the 
commission of crime more difficult and the capture of tlie criminal more 
certain. It is not a vigilance committee. It bears no resemblance to 
the A'igilants. Regulators or AA'hitecaps. It is opposed to mob violence 
in any form. A member who takes part in the actions of a mob will be 
expelled, and a lodge taking part therein will have its charter taken 
away. It turns the captured criminal over to the legal authorities and 
assists in the prosecution with evidence. Thus the innocent are pro- 
tected and the guilty brought to justice. 

The Anti Horse Thief Association holds to the great principle that 
all men are endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the peace- 
ful possession of property. It has come nearer solving the problem of 
dealing with those who molest these rights, than all other methods com- 


bined. In 191 1 bank robberies became so frequent, that the State bank 
commissioner said, "I am simply appalled at the number of bank rob- 
beries in Kansas." As a remedy, Mr. Dolley and other leading bank 
officials recommend that bankers join the Anti Horse Thief Association. 
Many of them did so, and it is a well known fact that bank robberies 
stopped and but very few have occurred in the state since. 

Since the organization of the order in Kansas, other states have 
fallen into line and now very many of the best people in the nation 
belong. But, of course, Kansas leads them all with a membership of 
22,000 in good standing. 

While attending the National convention at Fayetteville, Ark. 
recently, I was reliably informed that over ninety per cent, of all prop- 
erty stolen from Anti Horse Thief Association members last year was 

As the years come and go, crime grows less. Butler county has 
several good live orders of the Anti Horse Thief Association, and all are 
putting forth an effort to make this a better world in which to live. 


By ^Irs. Frank H. Cron. 






■ CLUB. 

A'erily of the making" of clubs, there is no end. at least not yet. 
Many ckibs for various purposes have flourished in Butler county. 
Clubs fill a large place in the life of the women of the world today. 
Music clubs, literature clubs, aid clubs, civic clubs, mothers' clubs, thim- 
ble clubs, embroidery clubs, luncheon clubs and card clubs. 

The National Federation of Women's Clubs, the largest organiza- 
tion of women in the world, has done much for the enactment of better 
laws. Much to mold public sentiment and much for the general uplift 
of humanity. There are five clubs in Butler county which are federated : 
The Woman's Mutual Benefit Club, Home Economics, and Domestic 
Science of 1914 of El Dorado, the Outlook, Augusta, and Mutual Helpers 
of Cassoday. Four district federation presidents have been chosen from 
Butler county, three from the Woman's Mutual Benefit of El Dorado, 
Miss Sadie Stone. Mrs. R. S. Miller and Mrs. F. H. Cron and one from 
the Outlook Club. Augusta, Mrs. W. A. Penley. 


No story of the clubs of the county could be complete without men- 
tioning the Beethovan Club, organized in 1870. However, this was no 
woman's club. Prof. Hulse was leader and S. E. Black, probate judge at 
the time, and C. M. JaiTies was clerk, and were promoters of this club. 
Queen Esther was presented at the old M. E. Church in 1881. Previ- 
ously, the old court house was used for their entertainments. At one of 
these, the club was fortunate to secure Miss Fannie DeGrass of Mil- 
waukee, who was visiting relatives in Winfield. The audience was 
delighted with her singing, and Judge Black was so impressed with the 
personality of the young prima donna that he speedily offered her his 



heart and hand, so they were married and Hved happily ever after, even 
unto this da}', in the good little town of El Dorado. So much for tlie 
Beethoven Club. 

A number of years later, Mrs. Black formed the Rubenstein Club, 
and established a conservatory of music, which, for many years, was the 
center of the musical life of the town. 


The oldest women's club in El Dorado is the Shakespeare Club. 
This club is the outgrowth of a reading circle organized at the home of 
Mrs. C. A. Leland in 1892. Among the original promoters were : Mes- 
dames C. A. Leland, Lorenzo Leland, Edward C. Ellet, Henrietta Van 
Dorn, Lillie Parkhurse, Mrs. Charles Ewing and others. In 1898 the 
club took up the reading of Shakespeare. Mrs. Van Dorn was made 
first president, which position she held during her life. The present 
efficient president is Mrs. R. H. Hazlett. The members are: Mrs. R. H. 
Hazlett, Mrs. C. L. Harris, Mrs. C. A. Leland, Mrs. M. M. Vandenberg, 
Mrs. Alvah Shelden, Mrs. Charles Selig, Mrs. R. E. Frazier, Mrs. S. R. 
Clifford, Mrs. C. E. Thompson, Mrs. J. B. Adams. In recent years the 
club has been saddened by the death of two of its capable memebers, 
Mrs. X. F. Frazier and Mrs. V. P. Mooney. The social features of this 
club are particularly enjoyable. 


This club was organized in 1898 and federated in 1899. The club 
owes its origin to Mrs. Alvah Shelden and Mrs. M. W. Sinclair. The 
membership is limited to twenty-five. Its course of study is varied. 
AMiile interested in music, literature and art, this club has always been 
active in work of a civic nature. For many years, the Woman's Mutual 
Benefit Club assisted in maintaining a public library, the nucleus of the 
present Carnegie library. The summer chautauqua was established by 
this club. Prizes have been given for best flowers grown by children; a 
"dandelion day" created much sentiment for beautiful lawns, and a clean 
up day was appointed by the mayor at the suggestion of this club. The 
state scholarship fund has received generous support. The following 
ladies have served as president: Mesdames Alvah Shelden, W. M. Sin- 
clair, M. A. Koogler. C. A. Leland, G. M. Sandifer, Miss Sadie Stone. 
Mrs. F. J. B. King, Mrs. M. S. Munson, Mrs. R. S. Miller, Mrs. J. H. 
Austin. Mrs. W. H. Ellet, Mrs. C. E. Hunt, Mrs. S. P. Willis. Mrs. F. H. 
Cron, Mrs. M. E. Kilgore, Mrs. Ida Robinson, Mrs. J. A. Wiedeman 
and Mrs C. E. Boudreau. Many high class entertainments have been 
given by this club and many distinguished women have been its guests. 
Tliev lia\e twice entertained the district convention. 



This club was organized Xovember i6. 1906. Its object is both lit- 
erary and social. The membership is limited to sixteen. Each year 
many delightful programs and original parties have been given by the 
clever young women who compose the club. The following were charter 
members : Miss Flora Leland, Aliss Cecil Leland, Miss Alice Murdock, 
Miss Ellina Murdock. Miss Corah Mooney, Miss Edith Chesney, Miss 
Laura Wiley, ]\Iiss Cornelia Ewing, Miss Olive Clifford. Miss Susan 
Pattison, Miss Grace Black, Miss Hazel Betts and Mrs. Clara Bright. 

Each year the members of this club are given money by certain 
wealthy individuals. They use this money to bring Christmas cheer to 
everv child in the town. They have an entertainment for the children, 
both rich and poor, and each child receives some present. 


The El Dorado chapter. Daughters of American Revolution, was 
organized July 8, 1910, by Mrs- C. E. Stanley. State regent, and named 
Susannah French Putney, revolutionarj^ ancestor of Mrs. J. W. Kirk- 
patrick. first regent of the chapter. 

The course of study has been American history, current events and 
the Daughters of American Revolution magazine. The work of the 
chapter has been in harmony with the general society. The member^ 
are : Mrs. J. AV. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Robert H. Hazlett, Mrs. I. V. Horner, 
Mrs. J. A. AViedeman, Mrs. B. F. Meeks, Mrs. Dillon Hamilton, Mrs. J. 
C. Robinson, Mrs. R. E. Frazier, Mrs. X. F. Frazier, Mrs. C. E. Hunt, 
Mrs. F. H. Cron, Miss Ruth Avery and ]\Iiss Edith Chesney. 


This very delightful club was organized in 1907 with nine charter 
members : Mrs. R. AA". Stephenson, Mrs. A. X"^. Taylor, Miss AA^innifred 
Miller. Mrs. H. A. Hill, Airs. Park Salter, Mrs. A.' Holiday, Mrs. S. A. 
Simpson, Miss Leonard and Mrs. AA\ E. Brown. This club established 
a library with about 250 books. The library was opened June i, 1912, 
with Miss Pansy AAlley, librarian. The library now contains 750 books. 
This club has entertained the district federation and supports most lib- 
erally the scholarship fund. The literary work of this club is especially 
high and the social features enjoyable. 


Upon January 11, 1907, this club was organized with the following 
officers: President, ]\Irs. R. H. Snell ; vice president, Mrs. J. A. Middle- 
kauff ; secretary, Miss Effie Johnston. There are now twentv-one active 


members and seven associate members. In addition to the regular work 
of the chib, a public library is maintained through the efforts of the 
Twentieth Century. 


This club was organized in August, 1914, under the name of "Needle 
and Eye Club." Mrs. Fred Ray was its first president, Mrs. Albert Sun- 
barger, vice president and Miss Kitty Green, secretary. The club had a 
membership of thirty-six. Besides the literary work of the club, the 
members contribute to the scholarship fund. A spirit of true neighbor- 
liness has been growing, which is enjoyable to all. 


This club was originally an embroidery club to which the following 
ladies belonged. Mrs. Lockwood, Mrs. J. C. Robinson, Mrs. Dona Rob- 
ison, Miss O. Porter. So enjoyable did these ladies find their little club 
that they resolved to share it with others. In January, 1909, the larger 
club was organized at the home of Mrs. L. A\\ Robinson. In January, 
1912, the club adopted a constitution and by-laws and was for the first 
time called E. M. B. — Every member busy. The object is for mutual 
improvement in literature and general culture. The social side of this 
club has been found most pleasant. 

In October, 1912, the club voted a lil)rary which was opened upon 
January 8, 1913. At this time the club contained eighty-five volumes, 
which number has been increased to 325. 


This club was organized December 8, 1897. The study was a course 
published in the Chicago Record. This club did very good work for 
about two years and was then discontinued. Among those who were 
members were: Mrs. R. H. Hazlett, Mrs. C. A. Leland, Mrs. H. A. 
Miller, Mrs. Frances C. Armstrong, Mrs. E. C. Ellet, Mrs. Alvah Shel- 
den, Mrs. V. P. Mooney, Mrs. M. M. Vandenberg, Mrs. C. L. Harris, 
Mrs. S. E. Black, Mrs. Charles Ewing. Mrs. S. R^ Clifford. Miss Sadie 
Schmucker, Mrs. H. H. Gardiner, Mrs. N: F. Frazier and Mrs. A\'. AV. 





In telling a story the personality of the narrator enters into it to a 
greater or less extent. Each person has his own peculiarity in relating 
an incident, giving it an inflection here, emphasis there, and a grin, ha 
ha, or imitation where needed, in order to give it the flavor or pep neces- 
sary to have it properly appreciated. In attempting to put the same 
story or incident in print, is to loose or omit all those things and thereby 
the subject becomes more or less "English." 


In the spring of 1870, the firm of Smith & Bishop was engaged in 
selling goods, both dry and wet, in the town of Chelsea. As we drove 
into the little village and past their place of business, the following sign, 
painted on the lid of a cracker box and nailed to one corner of the shack, 
attracted my attention: "BERE FO SAIL HER." If their "here" was 
no better than their spelling, they would have to go to a prohibition 
county in order to find a "sail" for it. 


In an early day, one J. W. Tucker, who was then dispensing the 
ardent in a limited way at Towanda, sent to Wichita by three fellows, 
who were going there on other business, for a keg of beer. ( How many 
people in Butler county under 35 years of age, have ever seen a keg of 
beer?) On their return with the beer in the wagon along with some tin- 
ware they were taking to Towanda, they met three other fellows on 
their way to Wichita ; after talking a while they all concluded to sample 
Tucker's beer. After considerable trouble the bung of the keg was out, 
and some of the tinware filled with the fluid and foam. The party 
removing the bung and replacing it was so saturated with the contents 
of the keg, it being a hot day and the beer escaping as fast and furious 



as possible, that the order of the brewery was with him as long as that 
suit of clothes remained. In speaking of his business afterward, Mr, 
Tucker remarked: "Boys, you can't sell beer in this town for five cents 
a glass. I kept an account of every glass out of that keg you fellows 
brought me from Wichita and T didn't make a cent on it. After this, 
beer is ten cents a glass, or three glasses for a quarter." 


(The origin of two per cent alcohol.) 

During the summer of 1870. one Jim Files came into Butler county 
and "took a claim." the one now owned by J. J. Edmiston, north of 
Towanda ; returned to Illinois, settled up his affairs, reduced his prop- 
erty to cash and returned to his claim in the fall in time to build a shack 
before winter ; coming by railroad to Emporia. At Emporia he fell in 
with a couple of teamsters from Towanda who were there after mer- 
chandise for the Towanda store, with whom he returned to Butler 
county, and thereby hangs this tale : 

On their way to Emporia the teamsters were stopped by a man 
living near the then town of Chelsea, who handed them a two gallon 
jug, with the price thereof, and asked them to go to the wholesale liquor 
house of Helwig & Lane at Emporia and buy and bring him two gallons 
of "firewater," stating that he wanted to use some of it for rheumatism, 
and some for snake medicine. The trip was made, the Red Eye pur- 
chased and the wagons loaded for the return trip, when they were ap- 
proached by the aforesaid Jim Files, who requested, and was granted, 
the privilege of walking behind their wagons, riding part of the time, 
and accompanying them on their return trip. They left Emporia, drove 
about three miles and camped for the night on the banks of the Cotton- 
wood river. Supper was prepared, horses fed and picketed. Everything 
lovely and quiet as a mid-summer night's dream, when, upon the still- 
ness came a cry of agony from Files — that is the word that describes it. 
"Boys, I have lost my pocket book. It had in it not only every cent but 
everything I have in the world except my claim" (between $100 and 
$200, which was quite a sum of money for those days.) Of course, the 
usual questions were asked, where he lost it, wdien did he see it last, 
where did he keep it, and so on. He finally concluded that he had used 
it last at a saloon in Emporia and thought he had left it on the bar, so 
one of us agreed to walk back to Emporia with him and endeavor to 
recover it, if possible. The trip was made and needless to say. was 
unsuccessful. A more dejected, downcast man on the return to camp. T 
have never witnessed. After arriving in cam]) and spending some time 
in bemoaning his fate, he said : "^^'ell. I have my old pipe left, so I 
guess I will smoke, anyway." He went to a tree where he had hung his 
coat, just before starting back to Emporia, put his hand in his outside 


pocket for his pipe and brought forth — his pocketbook and all its con- 
tents. You, gentle reader, may have seen, at some time, a man leaving 
the lowest depths of despair and climbing- to the mountain top of relief 
and jo}-; but you have never seen anything that could hold a candle to 
the change in Jim. From the valley of despair to the height of rejoicing, 
is a long road but it was taken at a bound, and Avhen the top had been 
reached, he looked down from his lofty heighth and said, "Fellows, I 
want a drink. I want to celebrate." And out came the two gallon jug. 
The next morning, after crossing the Cottonwood river, the old jug was 
just as heavy and just as full as when it left Emporia; from there on, 
after crossing each stream, the result was the same. AMien it was finally 
delivered at Chelsea, the original two per cent, had been established. 
Moral : If you must smoke, use a pipe. 


The above reminds me. One day in June, 1870, the driver of a team 
on the road to Emporia from Towanda, for freight, stopped at Sycamore 
Springs, under the old Sycamore tree, (from whence came its name,) 
filled his half gallon jug with water and started over the divide to Mer- 
cer Springs. In going down the slope towards Mercer Springs, he met a 
man traveling in the opposite direction, driving a span of small ponies 
and quite heavily loaded. The roads were heavy, man and team worn to 
a frazzle, scarcely able to get along. Upon meeting the team from the 
south, said: "Pardner, haven't you anything to drink? I am plumb 
played out and I hain't had a drop since I left Emporee." The driver of 
the team from the south said : "You bet I have, some of the finest you 
ever tasted. "Well, for land's sake give me some. I was never so dry 
in my life." As the jug was lifted from under the wagon seat and held 
before him, a look of anticipation and of satisfaction came over his face, 
which like has never been seen before or since. He took the little brown 
jug, stroked it tenderly, smacked his lips and smiled with glee, turned 
up the jug. took one swallow and with a look of disgust and derision 
seldom equaled, and never excelled, said "Gawd, it's water." 


In the early days, an old gentleman came into the \\niitewater 
valley driving a pair of white mules and a span of horses, locating near 
Towanda. He was very eccentric but seemingly got a good deal out of 
life, a deservable friend, neighbor and citizen. He was met one day by 
a German who stopped him and said: "I hear you have a horse what 
had bots." "Yep," replied the old gentleman. "What did you do for 
him?" "I give him a pint of turpentine." "All right, much oblige. Yep. 
Giddap," and eacli drove on. The next day they met again. Said the 
old German to the old gentleman, "Veil, I gife my horse pint turpentine 
for bots and it kill him," said the old German. "Yep, it did mine too. 



The largest celebration ever held in lUiller county up to that time, 
and I do not think it has been surpassed since, was held in Dan Cupps 
Grove at Towanda. Jul}' 4- 1873. Arrangements had been made for a 
large crowd and it was there. Practically all of the north half of the 
county, and many from other places. The procession leaving Towanda 
for the grove going across the then unbroken valley in a diagonal direc- 
tion reached from the town to the grove, about one and a quarter miles. 
T. X. Sedgwick, of Emporia, a lawyer friend of the late Dr. R. S. IMiller, 
was invited to make the address and was on hand for that purpose. A. 
L. Redden of El Dorado also had been invited to make a talk after the 
address of Sedgwick. \Mien the time came for speaking, Mr. Redden 
said he would be unable to remain until after the speaking of Mr. Sedg- 
wick and that if he spoke at all he would have to speak first. This was 
finally consented to. Mr. Redden spoke. When it came time for Mr. 
Sedgwick to talk, night was approaching and the people starting home. 
Mr. Sedgwnck made a few^ remarks and returned to Emporia a sadder 
but W'iser man. In justice to Mr. Redden, it is only fair to say that he 
simply became enthused with his subject and failed to notice that tem- 
pus was "fugitin.' " 


While it is true, perhaps, that human nature is and ahvays has been 
the same, yet it is also true that conditions and environment have a 
great deal to do with life in certain communities. In the early settle- 
ment of the county the people came as near having everything in com- 
mon as the most radical believer in that doctrine could expect or even 
wish for. This was the case, especially among the farmers. What one 
neighbor had the other was welcome to use, loan and borrow^'; always 
ready to swap work, get together, assist each other in every way possi- 
ble. All short of money but long in all those things that money will 
not buy ; clothed with garments coarse and cheap ; but covering hearts 
that beat in unison one with another ; each doing the best he could for 
himself, at the same time promoting the welfare of his neighbor ; living- 
most of the time upon the barest necessities, but never refusing a meal 
to one that was hungry. Endeavoring to make a living and accumulate 
property but not to the extent or exclusion of all else. Sometimes in 
buying supplies for the table, groceries and provisions, things were pur- 
chased that w'otUd look out of proportion to some people. I have per- 
sonally sold, not to one man only, but to different men and at different 
times, fifty cents' worth of sugar, fifty cents' worth of coffee and a dol- 
lar's worth of tobacco. And the caller at the old log house or homestead 
shanty was as welcome to the one as the other. In those jirimitive 
abodes, neighbors en\'}ing no one and no one envying them, visited back 
and forth, and friendships were formed, lasting as time itself. "God help 


the man that has no friends. I'd rather be a dog and bay the moon, than 
such a man; I'd ratlier wear the wreath that friendship gives than 
crowns of gold." 

And because of the friendships thus formed, the troubles and dis- 
couragements, the privations and wants that were bound to come upoii 
all were made lighter; the road smoother. The clouds disappeared, and 
all things resumed in time their normal condition. 


The most malicious, premeditated, willful, cold-blooded burder that 
ever transpired in the county, I presume, happened in the little village 
of Towanda in the fall of 1872, during the time the agricultural and hor- 
ticultural fair was being held near there, and, as often happens, booze 
was at the bottom or cause of it. Two men. Tom Griffith and John 
Bradshaw, were enjoying (?) themselves, having a hilarious, rollicking 
old time by partaking of that which cheers, and in sufficient quantities, 
also inebriates. They had each overloaded, Bradshaw to a greater extent 
than Griffith. Bradshaw became morose, sullen and wanted to be let 
alone. Griffith was joyful, merry, noisy and, in his own estimation, a 
little the best man physically that ever roped a broncho or branded a 
maverick. They were in the drug and hardware store of the late Dr. R. 
S. Miller and his partner, J. H. Dickey, Griffith boasting of his prowess 
and Bradshaw sulking. Griffith went up to Bradshaw and said, "John, 
I can put you on your back in less time than a minute." John replied, 
"Go way and lem me alone." Griffith turned and walked back to the 
rear of the store, wanting someone to test his strength, and again 
approached Bradshaw and said, "John, I can throw yott over my head 
'.vith one hand. I am a trantler from Bitter Creek, the further up you 
go, the worse they get. I am from right at the head waters. I am a 
coyote and it's my night to howl. Look at me. Look me in the eye I" All 
this time dancing and capering around him in the best of humor and 
endeavoring to and thinking he was having a high old time. This time 
Bradshaw did not reply, but went out in front of the store, mounted his 
pony, rode more than a mile north, procured a revolver, an old style 
navy, returned to the store, threw the bridle reins over his pony's head, 
dismounted, walked into the store where Griffith was and commenced 
shooting. After firing four shots, hitting him each time, he went out, 
remounted his pony, rode north and, so far as has ever been ascertained, 
is still going. Griffith lived about six months. A reward was offered 
for Bradshaw, but he was never apprehended. 

By Frances E. Mooney. 

I was only fourteen when my father in Indiana decided to "go west,", 
but even from that young age, the remembrance of that decision and its 
portending significance remains in detail. Or perhaps because of youth's 


intensity and eager absorption llie memories are eut deeper and dee])er 
and mav be recalled more easily than the happenings of later years. 

It was in the dusk of an autumn twilight, we drove up to the place 
on the A\'est Branch of the Whitewater, which my father had purchased 
on a previous trip to Kansas, and which my mother still owns. The 
house was somewhat indistinguishable in the growing darkness and I 
started on a tour of inspection while the family was still busy at the 
wagon. AMth a heart filled with the excitement of actual arrival and 
beating with hints of the possibilities to come, I opened the front door 
on the west. A large new room, some sixteen feet scjuare, opened before 
me. I gave a look aroimd and crossed over to the door on the east to 
continue my explorations. Opening it I was brought up standing. That 
door led out into the night again. My feelings here I have never been 
able to satisfactorily express. Maybe somebody knows. There may be 
in somebody's heart an understanding. I was without resource. Then 
the situation bore down upon me. From the big brick house in Indiana 
to this ; from the big, thick woods, where we followed a blazed trail to 
school, to these bare, treeless plains. Homesickness ran riot. I sat down 
on a box and cried. 

But how soon it all changed. ^ly father began building on to our 
house, as soon as possible, but even that had ceased to matter. The 
freedom and happiness of life in the early days in Kansas, I think, may 
not be equalled by anything that tliese days have to offer. 

A\^omen and girls w^ere not many on the frontier and my father, 
arriving with a family of girls, ours was a popular place. Of course, we 
were too yotmg to count, but we had to count. 


One of my earliest advents into society was a dance given some 
miles north of us, at the home of the Messrs. William Spencer and 
Barney Doyle. And well I remember my wandering search for the host- 
esses ; and remembered even better is the amusement that followed upon 
my asking, "But where are Airs. Spencer and Mrs. Doyle. Spencer and 
Doyle w-ere two unattached bachelors keeping house on the prairies and 
the proprieties of the occasion were unquestioned. 


'Tis always around the big hotel in Towanda that memory clings 
deepest and longest. This hotel, built of native timber by Rev. Isaac 
Alooney, a kinsman of my father, and who afterward became my father- 
in-law, was the mecca for travellers and the seat of adventure through 
the pioneer years of Butler. The house was constantly filled with the 
merry makings of the }'oung people of the family and the permanent 
boarders, with, from day o dav, the added excitement of the transient. 


It was, for me. so full of attraction and interest that often my father had 
to come to remind me that it was time to go home. These were not the 
days of the telephone and easy messages ; when a message was to be, it 
was in person. And not only was my home two miles and a half distance 
away from the hotel. Init a river without bridges ran between. 

Unfors-otten forever will be one formidable mid-winter afternoon. 
A partv was to be given and I was invited to stay. Never had prospect 
seemed so alluring nor temptation pressed so heavily, but more effectual 
than these would be my father's appearance at the hotel that evening. 
My heart sank. I confided my fears to her who is now Mrs. A. Swiggett 
and my sister-in-law. "Ciele. I dare not stay," I said. "If he comes. I'll 
have to g-o." Now this sister has always been noted for abilitv to meet 
distress with brilliant suggestions. This one was that we walk over to 
mv home and get permission to stay, and that we could cross the river 
on the ice. Now. the river was not solid ice, but floating ice ; and except 
that we both fell in, the flaws in this suggestion might never have been 
discovered. And just as we waded out on the other side, we met my 
father coming into town with a load of grain. We had managed to keep 
our outside skirts dry and my father did not notice our condition. Per- 
mission to stay for the party was given as we climbed into the wagon, 
and we sat on the grain sacks and let the water run off our shoes. 
Serious? We laughed, and tried to smother it, and laughed again, until 
my father asked what we two simpletons found so funny. Back at the 
hotel, we walked s^ingerlv and with care. But we were not noticed. 
Another sister, Margaret, had fallen from her horse on the way home 
from school and had gotten her feet wet. Hot blankets and hot drinks 
were being prepared and Ciele and I joined the forces to help to keep Mag 
from taking cold. A glance toward each other would send us both from 
the room. And to the party we gaily went. Now this was not a season 
of satin slippered parties; we wore our same wet shoes of the afternoon 
and either sat on our feet or kept them covered with our skirts. 

Another adventure of this same class was on an occasion of a flood 
on the ^^^^itewater. In company with him who is now my husband, we 
attempted to cross the swollen river by swimming our ponies. This was 
no unusual feat — many times I had done it alone. But two traveling 
men were trying to make the crossing in a single buggy and one of these 
asked me to take his place and let him ride the pony. We all effected a 
highly successful crossing except the polite young man. He, with m}^ 
.pony blundering and floundering, reached the bank, drenched and shiver- 

A\'e stopped to dry him out, at the home of the Ralston boys, kept 
by their two precise sisters. As we sat by the fire the water began to 
trickle from him and run around the room in a little rivulet. It was too 
much for me. I was young and things always were funny. Laugh, I 
had to and did, much to the disapproval of the precise ladies. The unfor- 
tunate young man had also lost his hat. Therefore my gallant escort 


galloped up to Towanda, called out his friend, Jim Clark, took Jim's hat 
off Jim's head without explanation and returned in triumph. 

So many funny things happened in that hotel. One afternoon the 
two sisters, Margaret and Ciele, were chasing one another through the 
house. Mag made a disappearance and Ciele, following into a bed room, 
jumped on the outlined form under the bedclothes and pounded vigor- 
ously. Then she turned back the bed clothes and discovered — a hotel 
gtiest, who, being indisposed, had retired. Poor sister Ciele ! not for all 
tiie days that that man remained would she once enter the dining room. 


Horse-back riding was not only an amusement but a means of travel. 
In this accomplishment I proclaimed proficiency, it having been my 
}'outhfid pastime in Indiana. 

My boasting was met up with, while I was yet a tenderfoot. One 
evening in Towanda I was persuaded upon a pony also named Towanda 
and which, I was informed, was a fine rider. We made a fine start and 
stopped; and nothing I could do would effect another start. 

Happening to look back, I discovered a group of heads at \arious 
angles, taking note of ni}^ plight. Then I knew there was something 
unusual about the circumstance. Vaguely a remark came to mind that 
Towanda would not go without spurs. Very hard I thought for a 
minute. That audience behind me must not get the satisfaction it was 
expecting. Pride was the mother of my resource. Twisting the pony 
over to a sunflower, (which was always near), I pulled a flower and 
filled it with as many pins as I could find about me ; with this I gave the 
pony such a cut that he did not stop again until I reached my father's 
door. And just now I recall that again, I was going to ask if I might 
"stay oyer a little while longer." 







By William Allen White. 

My father was Dr. Allen AMiite, a pioneer doctor, who came to 
Kansas in fifty-nine. My earliest recollection of my father must go back 
to a time when I was two or three years old and he was keeping a country 
store in a little wooden building which we were using as a home. Tt was 
located where the new postoffice building site is, facing Central avenue. 
It was a rambling, one-story, unpainted house, with a chimney rising 
from every room in it — a rust}', sheet iron chimney. These chimneys 
sprouted all over the gray roof of the house and it was known in the ver- 
nacular of the town as the "foundr3^"' My father kept the country store 
and sold everything that the pioneers would buy. Later he bought a 
drug store and moved over on to Main street, and I recollect him even 
more vividly than I recollect him in the little store. In the drug store I 
remember him chiefh- as wearing nankeen trousers six or seven months 
in the year, a white pleated shirt (which my mother ironed with great 
care), and a rather broad brimmed panama hat. 

He was a jovial, good natured, rather easy-going man, but I think 
he must have been very effective, for I can recollect that they hanged 
him in effegy in Augusta in the county seat election, and that he chuckled 
and laughed at home and that my mother was very angry and not a little 
afraid that they might do violence to him. I believe they said he helped 
in stuffing the ballot box which carried the election. Of course, I was 
too little, then to know the facts, but I should not be surprised to learn 
that he knoAv something about it. He played life according to the rules of 
the game at that time in vogue, and it was his chief joy in life to get re- 
sults. He was a Democrat, I remember, and many and many a day I have 
ridden with him as he drove over the county making the first organization 
of the Democratic party in Butler county. The Democrats put up a 
county ticket and I remember this strategy — that they thought if they 
would concentrate their entire efforts on one man on the ticket they 
could elect him and so get a foothold in the courthouse. Thus Vincent 



Brown was elected, to the surprise and consternation of the Repuljlicans. 

My father sold his drug store and bought a farm seven miles north 
of El Dorado, where he tried to realize a lifetime dream. He had been 
born and reared on a farm near Xorwalk, in Huron county, Ohio. His 
father had cleared the wilderness and my father wanted to go back to the 
pioneer living that he enjoyed as a child. So he built on this farm north 
of El Dorado, a log cabin with a great fire place and rafters whereon 
hung dried pumpkins and sage and onions and all sorts of festoons that 
held dried food during the winter. I can see him, winter nights, sitting by 
the fire, smoking with supreme satisfaction. He had rail fences built all 
around the farm, and cleared out some woodland patches, and did all he 
could to duplicate the farm of his childhood. But the day had changed. 
The farm which he laid out required hired men to work it, and a lot of 
hired men ; for my father was fat and clumsy and could not do very 
much. And the hired help that crowded around the table made the farm 
work so hard that my mother could not do it. She broke under the 
strain and we had to give up the farm and move back to town — back into 
the old foundry. 

]My mother was of Irish extraction. Her father was Thomas Hat- 
ton, an Irish weaver near Longford, Ireland, and her mother was Anne 
Kelly of Dublin, the daughter of a contracting carpenter on the docks. 
They were married in the Catholic Church at Longford, where presuma- 
bly Anne Kelly's father was working on a contract. I have seen the 
marriage register signed b}" Anne Kelly in the church at Longford. 
The}" came to America and my mother grew up at Oswego, Xew York. 
She was left an orphan at sixteen with a small brother and sister, and 
she went west with some friends — drifted away from the Catholic 
chiuxh, was converted at a great revival, joined the Congregational 
church — worked her way through Knox College, doing sewing and house 
work, learning the millinery trade. The truth is that she did anything 
she could to keep herself in school, and finally having got what educa- 
tion she could at Knox College, set forth as a school teacher. She came 
west, taught school in Council Grove and Cottonwood Falls — met my fa- 
ther at a dance and they were married in 1867. 

After our farm experience, we moved back to town, and my father, 
who was an expansive sort of a person and liked to have a house full of 
company, tore down the old foundry and built what was then a com- 
modious residence. He had so much company that my father and 
mother talked it over and decided to open a hotel ; hence the ^^'hite 
House, which my father and mother ran for three or four years. My 
mother did not like it, but my father was never happier in his life. The 
nankeen pants, the pleated white shirt, shinily starched, and the panama 
hat and the white suspenders gleam through the gloom of that day in my 
memory as a joyous apparition. 

I think he lost money every day he kept the hotel open and T think 
that was his chief pride in life that he wasn't making any money out of 
his guests. He was something of an amateur cook and lo\ed a good 


table. I used to go to market with him in those days when he had the 
run of the butcher shops in El Dorado, and he would pick out fine, thick 
sirloins and porterhouse steaks, and tall, fat rib roasts and bring them 
home to his guests, whom he fed and roomed at $2 a day. Prairie chickens 
were common in those days and we only used the breasts, and a little boy 
and I had to pick them. We also served quail and bass, and buckwheat 
cakes and homemade sausage for breakfast. It was early in 1882 that 
ni}' mother, seeing the family fortune failing, rebelled and the hotel 

As I have said, my father was a tremendous Democrat, but he was a 
Democrat with a little "d." One of the earliest family traditions that 
I now recall was a famous blow-up that he had when Kansas gave the 
suffrage to the colored man — a proposition which he supported — and 
denied it to the women. He was a woman suffragist and a prohibition- 
ist. We entertained St. John at our house before the days of the hotel, 
and in September. 1882. when the Democratic convention at Emporia 
nominated Glick for governor on a platform declaring in effect for the 
nullification of the prohibitory law, my father came home and went 
to bed sick. It broke his heart. He took politics that seriously. He 
believed in Kansas ; he believed in prohibition ; he believed in the Dem- 
ocratic party and the nomination of Glick was too much for him. He 
died in October, though I feel sure that if he had lived and had been able 
to toddle to the polls in his white linen trousers and his white shirt and 
panama hat (which he wore clear to the last day of the mild weather in 
the long Kansas autumn) he would have cast a vote against Glick if 
it had been the last act of his life. 

^ly mother was an Abolition Republican, as one may infer when 
one recalls that she was educated in Knox College and sat under the 
altar of L3'man Beecher. but so great was her loyalty to my father after 
his death that when Cleveland was elected president in 1884, she set a 
lamp in every window of the big house the night the news came in and 
rejoiced mightily at the triumph of her husband's party. 

As I have said, my father was born in Ohio. His father was born 
in Ra3'nham. Massachusetts, and his mother was Fear Perry, who, 
according to family tradition, was some kin of Commodore Perry, and 
my father's maternal grandfather was a brother. I believe, of ^^"illiam Cul- 
len Bryant's father, and the White family runs back, near the little town 
of Raynham. Mass.. to 1630; so he was pure bred Yankee and my 
mother was pure bred Irish, and it was a curious mixture that came into 
my blood. As I look back over my childhood days in El Dorado. I can 
see more and more plainly the marked traits of the Irish and the Yankee 
in our family life. It made a thrifty, hard-working, resourceful, cheerful 
famih- and I, more than most boys of my time, was blessed with the 
environment of books, for alwavs mv mother was readino- to me. Xieht 
after night I remember as a child, sitting in the chair, looking up to her 
while she read Dickens and George Eliot. Trollop. Charles Reed and the 


Victorian English novels. My father, I remember, used to growl a good 
deal at the performance, and claimed that "f my mother read to me so 
much I would never get so I would read for myself. But his prediction 
was sadly wrong. It was to those nights of reading and to the books 
that my mother had always about the house that I owe whatever I have 
of a love for good reading. 

They always kept me in school. It was my father's plan to send me 
to Ann Arbor to be a lawyer and he left $1,000, (which was considered 
a vast sum in those da3's), to be devoted to my education, and I remem- 
ber that my mother's sorrow when I quit the University of Kansas with- 
out a college degree, was poignant, and that much of it reflected what my 
father would think, that I should quit school without a college degree. 

Those were golden days for me. I look back upon them all with 
memories of the keenest joy, from the very first recollection of my par- 
ents in the old foundry to the day when I set out from El Dorado to 
make my fame and fortune in Kansas City. Always, in recalling those 
days, I have the feeling that T was made the special care for the loving 
devotion of two middle-aged people to whom I w^as set apart as the most 
wonderful child that had ever been born on the earth. 

How strange it all seems, and how pathetically ridiculous — as, in- 
deed, everything that is pathetic is at bottom ridiculous, and everything 
that is absurd is profoundly sad. 


By William Allen White. 

In the old days, the women of our little community bore their bur- 
dens bravely, and it seems now, looking back to that time, that those 
burdens were heavy ones. Yet they never complained at the hardships, 
never murmured at the deprivations, which, in secret, they must have 
felt. For the women, who came to the town in the later sixties and early 
seventies, were not used to the rough ways of pioneering. They had left 
comforts "back yonder," left homes of culture in man}' cases, left shel- 
tered circles and many of the softening influences of civilization wliich 
are dear to women — dearer than to men, perhaps — and had come out to 
the desolate, wind-swept prairie town where they were too frequently 
])oorly housed, roughly fed, and more lonesome than anyone will ever 
know, unless some day he reads between the lines of the hopeful letters 
that these brave women sent back East — letters wherein they tried so 
hard to put the best foot forward, to conceal the disagreeable truth. 

In other towns, where the rougher element of society came in first, 
where the cowboy, and the gambler and professional killer broke the sod 
for graves, the women folks, who came with these creatures suffered 
very little with mental anguish. But the pioneer women of our town 
saw their darkest davs in the old times. Life was harsh, fidl of 


drudgery too often, and disheartening. They came here little more than 
brides — did the women who used to gather around my mother's quilting 
frames in those first few years. The faces that were lit up by the candles 
that sat on the corners of the frame, or upon the quilt, were young faces 
in those days, only a few of them were touched with the never melting 
snow, only a few of them were scarred by wrinkles then. The picture 
comes up so vividly to me as photographed upon a child's brain. Mrs. J. 
C. Lambdin, perhaps a little older than the average, was always an early 
comer; then came Mrs. Bosw^ell — Aunty Boswell, the children always 
called her, and she brought flowers with her. Hers was one of the first 
canaries brought to the little town. She was young and always had a 
smile for every one, the same smile she wore through all the troubles 
that came upon her patient, kind courageous life. Then came jVIrs. 
Lpuisa \*. Shelden down from Chelsea — she often came with her sister, 
]\Irs. Lambdin, and took her place quietly among the others. Mrs. Bron- 
son, plucky, cheerful, full of bright things to make the somber life seem 
easier, was always there, and Mrs. Edwin Cowles and her sister. Miss 
Ella McDuffee. came in from their farm below town. Miss McDuffee was 
one of the first musicians in the little town. She played the first church 
organ at the old Alethodist church, when A. L. Redden was superintend- 
ent of the Sunday school, and Frank Hamlin led the singing. The little 
party around the quilting frames was never complete without Mrs. Dr. J. 
P. Gordon and good soft voiced Aunt Rachel. The children all loved 
Aunt Rachel, and she will never know what an event in many a boy's or 
girl's life, was the coming of Aunt Rachel to a house to "spend the day." 
Mrs. \\\ P. Flenner and her little girl came in from their farm down by 
Conner's. Sometimes she rode in with Mrs. Conner — Warren's mother — 
who was the, youngest of all the party, and perhaps the one most missed 
when she stayed at home. Mrs. Dr. McKenzie was one of the quiet ones 
who always helped pick up the dinner things when the quilting was over. 
Mrs. W. W. Pattison made the jokes for the crowd, and passed upon the 
moral and financial side of every question that came up. There was no 
appeal from her decision. Mrs. George A. Hawley came too, sometimes, 
but not as often as she was asked, for she had cares that kept her close at 
home, and she was from the further east, Boston, and was shy among the 
stranger people of the West; she did not realize that they, too, were 
strangers to one another. One of the quiet, helpful ones who never left 
the house in the evening until the last dish was wiped and put away; 
who was always on hand when sickness came ; who was gentle- hard- 
working, patient, and yet found time to make a bright home for her chil- 
dren, a home with books, music and flowers — always flowers the year 
around — was Mrs. Frank Adams. 

There were others who came but these are types. Time had been 
cruel with some of them ; he has been kind to a few of them. Thev who 
were young then and in the prime of life, are old now. Most of them are 
widows and if the}' are happy it is in the success of their children. It 


was the children, we who played under the quilting frame, or scam- 
pered at hide-and-seek tlirough the house — that these women worked for 
and suffered silently in the lonely little settlement, and hoped. 

My mother, who is with us here in Emporia, as I write, has lived 
as they lived, sacrificing, toiling, dreaming as she sang at her work only 
of one thing. It seems unjust to wait until the carriages file through the 
woods and over the bleak hill before saying the loving words which these 
unselfish lives have earned so many fold. They have labored unstint- 
ingly and well. Many of them have disappeared from the public, they 
are not the "four hundred" now. They have sacrificed themselves for a 
half a century to their children, to their boys who are now men, 
the bone and sinew of the town ; to the girls, who are now young mothers 
themselves, starting in upon a life of self sacrifice. 

We who have reaped the harvest of our mothers' devotion, we who 
have not understood until the last few years, all the sacrifices that the 
daily life meant which our mothers lived in the old days, we who are just 
beginning to realize what Providence has given us — we should be proud 
of the shv little old women whose names are not seen in the lists of 
societv. We should repay in smiles, the tears and devotion they have 
given us. It is an old debt, and a just debt, and Gods knows that we and 
they will be happier if it is even partly paid. 

By J- R- Wentworth. 

The first time I viewed the Whitewater was in August, 1862. As 
for settlers at that time they were few and far between. They were 
located as follows : William Badley, two miles north of my present 
home, and Joseph Adams. There were several log cabins scattered along 
the river, but no one living in them down to Gillian creek, where lived 
Mr. Gillian, who gave his name to the stream. Dan Cupp was the next 
settler, at Towanda Spring, and then Sam Fulton. Mrs. Kelley and two 
or three cabins marking the present site of Towanda. 

About this time William Badley, George Adams (now deceased) and 
myself went out to where Wichita now stands and on to Cow-skin grove. 
We saw there countless numbers of buffalo. How they could have been 
exterminated in so short a period of time T cannot imagine. On this 
expedition three of us killed sixteen buffalo. We took the choicest parts 
of most of them, such as the hump and tongue, and left the rest for the 
wolves. This, now, we would think a great waste of meat. I built a cabin 
on my present farm in February, 1866, but did not move here until the 
following October. I raised a crop in Chase county that summer. 

At this time there was not a house east of us until we reached the 
Walnut and none directly west, so far a.s I was aware, until we reached 
the Rocky Mountains. In October, sixty-six. Amos Adams came and 
settled on his present farm. 


There was talk of Indians making a raid upon us but none put in an 
appearance. However, we left home June, sixty-eight, and went as far 
as McCabe's on the head of the Walnut and there heard the danger was 
over and returned to our cabin. Of course we men were not in the least 
afraid or frightened but were very anxious to get the women and chil- 
dren out of reach of the red men. 

In the autumn of 1867, Henry Comstock, H. H. Wilcox and Walter 
Gilman settled on the creek, north of my farm. Some months before this, 
T. L. Ferrier and Jake Green came and built log cabins. These were all 
kind people and good neighbors. 

You often hear people pity the early settler because he had so little 
to eat. I think those who tried, had enough. Game was plentiful, and it 
wasn't always corn bread and sorghum with us. 


By the late Samuel C. Fulton. 

Sam Carter, John Lawton and his mother, myself and family arrived 
in Butler county June i. i860. \\"e camped at Sycamore Springs over 
night. Next day we went as far as Chelsea. There the people being 
religiously inclined were holding a meeting in Capt. George T. Donald- 
son's house, when some one happened to see our "jirairie schooner" com- 
ing, and the meeting was adjourned to see what it meant. While there I 
got acquainted with George T. Donaldson, Martin Vaught, Judge J. C. 
Lambdin, Dr. Lewellyn and others, who tried to persuade us to locate 
there, but we had started for the Whitewater and would not stop. The 
evening of the second, we went into camp on the old town site of El 
Dorado, two miles below the present site. \AMiile there I met Mr. Rod- 
man, Dick Pratt and William Thurman. Next day we arrived at our 
journey's end in the Whitewater valley, at the present town of Towanda. 
There we found the families of AA'illiam Chandler, J. R. Mead, William 
Vann, Sam Huller and AVedon Kelley already located. I took a home- 
stead northwest of Towanda. I put up a cabin and made some hay. 

In August I sighted my first buffalo, where Towanda now stands. 
I followed them and killed two, on what is now known as the Holton 
farm, just north of Towanda. I was as proud of this exploit as I was 
of my first pair of red top boots. In January, I accompanied J. R. Mead 
on his famous wolf hunt, securing 303 wolf pelts by poisoning, in ten 
nights. In January, sixty-five, Hager, Huller and I went to the same 
place in the Indian Nation, now Oklahoma, just below the Great Salt 
Plain, in hope of having as good success as Mead. We arrived at our 
destination about noon and were just eating our dinner of buffalo meat 
and flapjacks, when up rode .eight or ten Indians, who dismounted, 
stacked their arms and came toward us with their usual salutation of 
"How, How," to which we responded by inviting them to eat with us. 


which they did. Their head man made a speech of which the only words 
we could understand was: "If you no shoot, we no shoot," to which we 
instantly agreed as they made signs that there were more Indians com- 
ins". Sure enough thev did come that same evening — about 200 of them, 
headed by "Buffalo Good," who had been sent out by Colonel Leaven- 
worth to bring" in the wild Indians. They demanded something to eat 
and flour, sugar and coffee for their chiefs. There was nothing for us to 
do but to hand it over. In the morning it was the same thing over again, 
and when those Indians left we were completely cleaned out and I had 
to drive back 'to the first trading post and get flour. Leaving Hager and 
Huller to make their way back to the hunting ground, I came on to 
Emporia to get horse feed and provisions. I sent an Indian back home 
with instructions for neighbor Chandler to bring me a team, which he 
did four days later. From Cowskin grove going back to the Arkansas I 
had to wade the big Arkansas which was up to my neck. All this time 
Hager and Huller were having good success with their hunting, having 
secured about 200 wolf pelts and some buffalo when I got back to them. 
^^> loaded our pelts, first piling buffalo robes on top, and started, when 
misfortune again overtook us. A hind wheel of our wagon smashed 
down, breaking off every spoke close to the hub. In a timberless coun- 
try, excepting an occasional cottonwood, and our only tools being butcher 
knives, an ax and a jack plane, by incredible labor we made spokes of 
willow and finally constructed a wheel which answered, and we arrived 
home without further trouble ; and so ended my last wolf hunt. That 
same year Lawton was killed by a renegade, and in 1866, Sam Carter 
died with cholera in Towanda. Huller is also dead. 


By Martin Vaught. 

My recollection of El Dorado dates back to fifty-seven when the old 
town was near Conner's, consisting of a small store, blacksmith shop, a 
sawmill and a few shanties. The drouth of i860 and the breaking out of 
the Civil war broke up the settlement and killed the town. The El Do- 
rado postoffice was established the summer of 1861, with Henry H. Mar- 
tin -as postmaster. The office was kept at his farm (now the Teter farm) 
and moved afterward on the present town site of El Dorado, when he and 
Col. C. O. Carr and Erank Gordy organized a town company and laid out 
the town site, south of Central avenue. The E. L. Lower addition was 
then vacant, only a few settlers lived near the town. Ben King opened 
a small store in a cabin not far from the Oldham block. INIartin located 
his general store on the corner now occupied by the Haberlein clothing 
store. Soon after George Haver brought in a stock of goods for Dr. 
Allen White and opened it in a cabin near where Dodwell's harness shop 
now is. The cabin was afterward used for a court house. The next busi- 


ness was Sam Landgdon's store. Its principal stock was log cabin bit- 
ters and there were lively times pulled off there. A quarter mile track 
was made running south from the store and there was horse racing nearly 
every day. Then came the Moorehead Bros., who opened a store ; Dr. 
Kellogg, and D. M. Bronson also opened about the same time.. 

The first term of court was held in the cabin referred to above : S. N. 
Wood, judge. I am unable to give the date. Then the location for the 
county seat came up. How well I remember the struggle between El 
Dorado and Augusta as it was my fortune to then be in a position where 
I had to take an active part. Mr. Ellis was county treasurer; M. A. 
Palmer S. C. Fulton and myself were county commissioners. John 
Blevins was county clerk. How we schemed and planned to get a court 
house and finally when the treasury had between $4,000 and $5,000 in 
cash, we decided to put up the first building, Henry Martin donating the 
lots. Then didn't some people howl ! One Augusta man came to see me, 
and forbade any further action, accompanied by terrible threats, if we 
Attempted to use public money for that purpose. But we did it, erecting 
a two-story building, the east one-third of the old court house. El 
Dorado business men contributed liberally. The town then began to 
improve rapidly. The "Times" had been established, (1870) a bank, 
Betts & Frazier, Gardner & Gilmore's store, Fraker & Foulk's hard- 
ware, and the old stone hotel built by Sam Langdon and kept by Henry 

Then again came more county seat wars. I can't recall all of the 
county seat elections in their regular order. Neither can I fix dates 
correctly, but for several years the location of the county seat was an 
unsolved question and the elections were not held according to th? deca- 
logue. Everybody voted who could be induced to go to the polls and 
no questions asked regarding citizenship. In some cases horses and 
dogs were voted. I know this was the case at Chelsea, El Dorado and 
Augusta. I recall one election held at El Dorado, where the first two 
hundred names were taken from a city directory in alphabetical order, 
just as they appeared in the directory. One of the clerks, I think. Ot- 
tenott, was sent to the penitentiary for six months, as all' names on both 
poll books were written by him. 

But the great fight came in 1871, I think, when at a meeting of the 
county commissioners, the Augusta people presented a petition praying 
for an election for the removal of the county seat from El Dorado to 
Augusta. Neil Wilkie, B. T. Rice and myself constituted the board in 
this' contest. Douglass had joined forces with Augusta, and Mr. Wilkie 
and B. T. Rice were in full sympathy with the Augustans. During the 
consideration of the petition a legal question was raised as to who were 
legal petitioners. Augusta's contention was that a signer did not have 
to be a legal voter at the time of signing the petitions. El Dorado at- 
torneys demanded that only legal electors be permitted to sign. Au- 
gusta was reperesented by Eugene Aiken and another whose name I 


cannot recall. H. T. Sumner and others appeared for El Dorado. A. 
L. Redden was county attorney. The board decided to defer action 
until it could consult with him. Augusta kicked and demanded that the 
question be referred to the attorney general, which we agreed to do. 

Right there is where Augusta blundered. They should have with- 
drawn their petition until the attorney general's decision had been made, 
for the election must be held within fifty days from the time of its pre- 
sentation, also requiring thirty days' notice. I think it was about six 
weeks before his decision was returned. I was chairman of the board 
and at once called a meeting. The matter was taken up and an election 
called. As we were not lawyers and the Augusta lawyers did not think 
of that little irregularity, this election was held, and if either Augusta 
or Douglass complied with this law I have never heard of it. Illegal 
voting was done at all of those places ; also at Chelsea. When we met 
to canvass the vote, we found that Augusta had apparently won by a 
small majority, but before the vote was canvassed the board was served 
with a temporary injunction issued at the instance of El Dorado by 
Judge Campbell. Of course, that stopped proceedings until the case 
came up for hearing, at which time Senator P. B. Plumb represented 
El Dorado. Judge Campbell dissolved the injunction. Plumb had a 
bond all made and signed and moved an appeal to the supreme court. 
Augusta demanded that the board at once proceed with the canvass, 
but as the attorneys informed us that we would l)e in contempt if we 
did so, Rice and myself refused and w^e at once adjourned. 

Excitement ran high. Augusta demanded an immediate removal of 
the county seat, and threats were made of force to remove it. N. A. 
McKittrick was at the time sheriff, with I. N. Phillips, undersheriff. 
One morning, as I was getting ready to go to plowing on my farm in 
Chelsea township. Constable Sam Rodgers rode up, his horse white with 
foam. He informed me that the sheriff had the night before moved the 
county arms to Augusta, locked the court house in such a manner that 
the officers could not get into their offices. I asked him why they did 
not break in the doors, and he said they were afraid to do it, and that 
they wanted me to come at once. 

Well, T went. Everybody was excited and anxious. All kinds of 
rumors were afloat and it was believed that an attempt at forcible re- 
moval would be made that night. With a fifteen-foot elm joist we un- 
locked a door in a hurry. Gen. A. W. Ellet advised barricading the 
court house. I did not want to take all the responsibility, so I got a 
team and went to P^enton for Rice, but his wife was all alone, so he 
could not come, but assured me that he would stand by me in any 
action, which he did. Under General Ellet's supervision we barricaded 
the court house with native lumber from a saw mill until the General 
said a regiment could not take it without artillerv. Some dozen or so 
of us stayed up on top of the building all night, while others kept watch 
in the roads leading to town. r)Ut the Augustans did not come. Later 


they came, a great crowd, with ox teams, all prepared to load safes and 
move the records to Augusta. Men were stationed in the court house 
and on its top, in Ben King's store, all armed ready for action, while 
Bob Holt, Joe Bowers and about fifty others were in the hall over 
Gardner & Gilmore's store. But few people lived in the streets. (All 
this was at the time of a regular meeting of the county commissioners.) 
In the meantime, ^Nlr. Rice had disappeared. Wilkie was anxious that 
the vote of the election be canvassed and. with dire threats, Augusta de- 
manded it. 1 was standing at the court house door with Dr. J. P. Gor- 
don when Phillips came up with a few followers and asked if I was 
going to convene the board and count that vote. I said "No!" Then 
he turned to Doctor Gordon and insulted him. Just then some one came 
and told me thai I was wanted at Lambdin's store. When I stepped in 
the door I was caught by each arm with some pushers behind and was 
rushed upstairs and locked in, with a double barreled shot gun and a 
lot of powder and shot. Phillips and T. H. Baker were the leaders and 
neither of them knew how much peril they were in ; that they were 
shadowed by men who, if any trouble had started, would have shot them 
instantly. Later in the afternoon they gathered back of the court house, 
where Baker made a speech, and all Augustans went back home without 
the records. 

This was the last countv seat election. The supreme court handed 
down a decision upholding El Dorado's contention that the election was 
illegally held. In the early eighties Representative J. H. Fullinwider 
passed a law providing that county seat elections should not be held 
oftener than once in five years, and then only on petition of two-fifths of 
the legal electors. This practically put an end to the contests, though 
ill feeling continued in some degree. 

The tornado which struck the town has been described by others, 
but El Dorado surely had a dilapidated appearance the next day. 

I remember well how we worked to get a railroad down the Walnut 
valley. Where El Dorado made her great blunder was when Sam AVood 
came trying to get the people interested in a branch of the Atchison. 
Topeka & Santa Fe from Cottonwood Falls down the valley. He came 
two or three times, but the leading men of El Dorado would not listen 
to him. but sent to Emporia and Judge Payton came and got possession 
of one of the meetings and talked of a track from somewhere by way of 
Emporia. "No, El Dorado did not want a bob-tailed road." Woods' 
last appeal was that if thev rejected his proposition, the road would be 
built from Newton to A\'icliita. His prediction came true and El Do- 
rado lost her opportunity to become the metropolis of the southern part 
of the State. Then again when "Cottonwood'' Davis came from the 
Frisco, he was jeered and insulted by some leading citizens. Augusta 
got the road. El Dorado was glad to get a "l)ob-tail" from Florence. 
"Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, it might have 
been," applies to El Dorado. 


But dear old El Dorado, so many years my home. iMany sacred 
memories pass before me and cluster there. Although we are pleasantly 
situated here, surrounde'd by beautiful mountains, my heart is still in 
Kansas, and when I see the old familiar, faces, a feeling of sadness comes 
over me and I can't help longing for the old Kansas home. 


By Mrs. J. E. Buchanan. 

What follows are reminiscences, or, quoting from David Leahy, 
"Vagrant Memories" of the old days, beginning with 1868. Prior to that 
time the place is said to have had some interesting history, but of that 
others must write who came earlier. 

Settled on farms about here and living in log cabins were Archibald 
Ellis, James McWhorter, George T. Donaldson, Martin \*aught, Elias 
Bishop, Mr. Jefferson, Doc Lewellyn, all with their families; and five 
miles south, on Harison Creek, Judge ^^"illiam Harrison and .family, 
excellent people, all exceedingly kind and hospitable. These were the 
real pioneers, who had braved the dangers and endured the hardships of 
a new country, making- it easier for, and receiving wuth friendly welcome, 
those who came later. Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Coggeshall were also here, 
and were newly-weds. Doc LcAvellyn was a rare type of the pioneer. 
He could tell us of encounters with Indians and "bad men" in the old 
days when he freighted supplies from Kansas City to the little settle- 
ment here. Those were the days when the early settlers had to be 
shrewd, as well as brave, combining the wisdom of the serpent with the 
harmlessness of the dove. 

The year 1868 brought many new comers. The Parson brothers, 
J. K. Xelson, J C. Becker. Otis Saddler. William Hoy, Jake Skinner, 
and family, Henry Bell and family, George Sain and wife, H. O. Chit- 
tenden and wife and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Buchanan. Messrs. Bell and 
Skinner were proprietors of a saw mill, which had recently been l)rought 
here. As the fall and winter advanced, we sought sociability and en- 
tertainment in "get-together" meeting one evening each week in the 
cabin which had been used for a school room. This cabin stood a little 
ways east of the Stone house, now owned by ]\Ir. Holderman, and is 
long since a thing unknown. About that time came also Mrs. Louise 
Shelden and family, from Illinois. She brought her aged father with her. 
John Vaught. father of Martin Vaught. He died not long after- 
ward, and was one of te first to be buried in the near-by cemetery. 
How vivid in the mind of the writer is the memcjry of those pleasant 
evenings! So novel the surroundings — so interesting the ])eople ! Our 
little circle was made up of representatives from different States — Ohio. 
Indiana, Illinois. Pennsylvania and New England. The weather, how- 
ever stormy, never scared us from going out. Though the "Kansas 
zejihyrs" held high carnival out on the prairies and the coyotes howled 
in the distance, what cared we. for within was "the feast of reason and 


the flow of soul," so to speak. These "debates," for such was the appel- 
lative g-iven our meetings, never lagged for want of interest. We were 
not afraid of one another and almost everyone participated. One prom- 
inent member was George T. Donaldson, eloquent, logical, and even 
then, when it was unpopular, an advocate of equal suffrage for women. 
He had been one of the old "fifty-seveners," a soldier in the Civil War, 
and had figured in the troublesome times which had made the early 
history of Kansas so tragic and heroic. A brave and capable man was 
Donaldson, now in the prime of life, but on Avhose brow, alas ! death 
was so soon to set his seal. He was killed accidentally, suddenly, in 
the fall of 1869. while preparing to build a new residence (the stone 

Our debates were alternated by "sings," or rather singing sociables, 
for thev were interspersed with a good deal of conversation and witty 
repartee. They were conducted by Mr. Becker (Calvin). He was at 
that time quite a young man. but had seen service in the army, had a 
fine taste for music and liad been well drilled in the same. He was a 
younger brother of Howard Becker, now of Chelsea. There were no 
cast-iron rules, but we had to remember the correct time was the most 
essential factor in music and governed ourselves accordingly. He was 
strenuous also along the line of expression. There was one piece which 
had in it, "This is My commandment, that ye love one another as I 
have loved you." It was an anthem. We were not always 'in a mood 
to sing it to suit him, but sometimes we did and somehow he loved to 
linger over that piece. Those songs developed into the "Chelsea Glee 
Club." and in- the absence of Mr. Becker we were led by Mr. Shelden 
(the late editor), then a young man of bright promise. They both sleep 
their last sleep in Belle Vista cemetery. 

Miss Lizzie Shriver taught the school that winter. At the close of 
the term she married George Ellis, and is now a resident of El Dorado. 
Edward Donaldson, banker, and Marion Shelden, real estate dealer in 
TQj)eka, were then gentlemanly lads in their early teens. J- G. Shelden 
was "Johnnie," man and cattle inspector, was a little tad in his first 
trousers. Lizzie and Permilia Bishop, bright little girls, are now of 
Sycamore. Dollie Donaldson, a veritable prairie flower, her father's 
favorite, is Mrs. Corwing Reed, in the northern part of the State. At 
that time a Dr. Kellog was superintendent of public instruction. He 
resigned and moved to Caldwell, leaving his unexpired term to be filled 
by J. E. Buchanan, of Chelsea. A^r. Buchanan was elected to the next 
term. While in office he did a good deal of work in the formation of 
new districts over the county. He made his journeys on horseback to 
his bearings, starting out across the prairies, apparently regardless of 
roads. Twenty new districts were formed while he Avas superintendent. 

In 1870, there came quite an influx of people. The Rayburns, three 
families of them from Bloomington, Illinois, and with them George W. 
Stinson, present mayor of El Dorado. J. B. Shough, also from Bloom- 
ington, began immediately the erection of a hotel. About that time 


John Houser, a skillful young blacksmith from Michigan, appeared on 
the scene, bringing with him his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Farnham. 
•Dwelling houses began to go up rapidly. Two stores of general mer- 
chandise, blacksmith shop, drug store, the proprietor being ]\Ir. Zim- 
merman, of Cincinnati. 

I have omitted to say that all this wliile we had Sunday school, 
generally well attended. Judge Harrison and family used to come over, 
and now a church was organized, a Presbyterian, with quite a good 
membership. Rev. James Gordon, brother of the late Doctor Gordon, 
was the first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. AVilliam Stryker. The 
ladies now formed a project for getting a bell for the new school build- 
ing. They took turns in getting up "suppers," each lady doing her very 
best, the proceeds to go for purchasing the bell. These suppers were 
the occasions of much hilarity and fun. (Weren't they, George?) At 
any rate, the bell was bought. Miss Alma Henderson, from an Eastern 
State, was the first teacher of the new building. Not long afterwards 
she married Neil Wilkie, of Douglass, where they have since resided. 

it seems that at an early period Chelsea had been the county seat 
of Butler, but the old timers, being mostly interested in stock raising 
and having, so they said, "no proper place to keep the records," had, in 
an unguarded hour, allowed the same to be transferred to El Dorado. 
Later, some years having elapsed, the people got ambitious and an 
effort was made in connection with Augusta, to regain the county seat. 
The argument was that Butler was large enough for two counties, w'ith 
Augusta the county seat of one, and Chelsea the other. But the scheme 
proved futle. The El Dorado voters stood "shoulder to shoulder" in 
the matter. The other side had too manv "Barkis is willing." So that 
is where Chelsea as a town lost prestige. A change came over the 
spirit of her dream. Slowly but surely began the process of disintegra- 
tion. J. B. Shough, proprietor of the hotel, sold out and moved to 
Kansas City. Dr. Zimmerman, druggist, went back to Cincinnati. J. 
M. and M. C. Rayburn, with their families, also went to Kansas City, 
all but Jennie, who had married George W. Stinson. The saw mill van- 
ished. Dwelling houses were moved out onto surrounding farms. The 
church, denuded of most of its members, languished, and the town site 
gradually lapsed into a corn field. But did Chelsea put on sack cloth and 
sit down in the ashes. By no means ! Divested of all county seat illusions, 
she girded herself and put on new strength, but along different lines. 
New people came and were stayers. The Bensons, Osborns, Jushua Cart- 
er, Daily brothers, Joseph McDaniel, John Houser and others. These 
were solid citizens, developing the country. Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Cogge- 
shall are still with us. The Methodist Episcopal brethren t(^ok up the 
church work. We have always had preaching and Sunday school. The 
postoffice, of course, went out of business. Then the rural route was es- 
tablished. "Chelsea," once remarked the late Editor Sheldon, "whatever 
she may have become since, was once the Athens of Butler county." 






By H. M. Logan. 

It was a crisp, cool evening in the fall of 1871, a bunch of us had 
ridden from Eureka, thirty-five miles, and no dinner. In our party Avere, 
just from the East, two tailor-made dudes, with yellow kids and cigar- 
ettes. I think, making their first trip West. As we were alighting from 
the old stage at the hotel, we were met by the usual crowd of onlookers, 
among whom was Frank Gordy. who seemed to take extra notice of 
the two dudes and I think, immediately made up his mind to give us 
tenderfeet a touch of \\>stern life. Gordy is the man who once owned 
the original townsite. He had given the city a park, the ground where 
the court house stood, and had helped in many ways to boost the town, 
which seeming!}' had made him a ])rivileged character. He could shoot 
up the town or anything else and I think the marshal was instructed to 
turn his back. He had been selling town lots and had money. He 
would often ride into a saloon, set up the drinks for the house, light his 
cigar with a $5 bill, then perhaps ride into some store where every one 
was supposed to dance to his music. 

At the hotel the lamps were finally lighted, the dining room door 
thrown open and we all rushed in. hungry as bears. Almost before we 
got our napkins adjusted, there was an ungodly yell, "a regular Indian 
war-whoop, and four shots from Gordy's revolver got the four lights, 
which not only left us in darkness, but almost scared to death, especially 
me. I knew I was shot somewhere, but didn't know where. There was 
a great deal of ^commotion. Everyone ran into everyone else. I got 
pushed into the stairway and kept going up, shaking like a leaf. I got 
into a room, almost too small for one to change his mind in, put the bed 
against the door, and with my clothes on got under all the covers to 
keep from getting shot again. I put the pillow on the top of m}^ head. 
Still I kept shaking and wondering if there was anybody else killed 
besides me. I thought how foolish I had been to give up a good job in 
the G. Y. Smith dry goods store in Humboldt and come out here to get 



shot the first night. No, I never knew whether they buried the two 
dudes the next day or just rolled them into the creek, or they may have 
gotten away alive; if so, perhaps they are still going-. Once when foot- 
steps w^ere passing my door I heard some one say, "Webloguamasigna," 
which in Indian means "a dollar and a half." but as I was not on to the 
Indian language then I suppose it meant just to add to my other pleas- 
ures, they would kindly get my scalp next. In order to be ready for 
them I got up. Say, reader, could you have seen big tears running down 
the back of my neck, there to mingle with the spots on the rug, I almost 
know you would not have laughed. I thought it almost enough to bring 
tears to the eyes of a potato. How many times would you have gone 
to sleep thinking that on the morrow, perhaps, your scalp would be 
dangling to Mr. Indian's scalp pole? Do you know of anything more 
pleasant to think about after you are dead? I almost know that was the 
longest night ever was since nights were invented. But why prolong 
the agony or even set this to slow music, for after a while everything 
became so very cjuiet that one could almost hear a gum drop. I must 
have gone to sleep, for the next thing I knew the sun was shining 
through the cracks. Part of the hotel was stone and part was boards. 
Perhaps they were short on boards, for they seemingly had left about 
fifteen or twenty minutes' recess between each board. But I smelled 
breakfast cooking and after a hasty toilet I got down to the first table, 
on which there were good boiled buffalo meat, dried buffalo jerk, hash, 
bacon, eggs and sorghum. AVhen I asked for cream the girl told me the 
old cow had broken her lariat. We finally got some blue rnilk, which 
I think had been skimmed top and bottom. But everything tasted good, 
and I enjoyed my breakfast, after which we took a look at the town. It 
was small, but growing. In our rambles we passed the old school house, 
where later the noted William Allen White and chums did what they 
could to make life miserable for the old professor. 

Across the avenue from where the Murdock home now stands was 
Boot Hill cemetery. About where the I. O. O. F. hall now stands a Mr. 
Sheets kept a wholesale liquor house, where the feeble minded assem- 
bled. There out in front Frank Gordy and his crowd were getting ready 
to pull off something. We got there just in time to hear Gordy say: 
''Now, gentlemen, we will entertain you a few minutes with some fancy 
dancing by this young galott, who has dared to come to El Dorado 
wearing a diamond and tailor-made clothes." Two quick shots from 
Gordy's revolver knocked splinters from the board walk near the young 
man's feet and the dance was on. I immediately thought it more pleas- 
ant back on Main street. Although I was not wearing diamonds or 
tailor-made clothes, I suddenly thought it best to go back to the liotel 
and write to my boy chum in the East. In that letter I remember of 
telling him at last I had got to where the cyclones fdu the people to 
sleep, 'way out in Kansas. 

The June previous El Dorado had almost been wiped off the face 


of the earth by a cyclone. The effects of it were still very much in evi- 
dence. I afterwards learned that shooting at the feet of tenderfeet to 
make them dance was Gordy's favorite stunt. But one day he bet on the 
wrong horse and met his "Waterloo," for when he commenced to shoot 
at Lish Cook's feet, Lish knocked him through a glass front. As Frank 
lost a part of his nose going through the glass, that ended the shooting 
business for poor Frankie. 

I was soon given a position in a store and went to work. Almost in 
the center of the block was the old Red Light saloon, which was a very 
busy place both day and night, so I was told. But there came a day 
when the proprietor could no longer pay and his creditors seized his 
goods, which consisted of a lot of barrels, half barrels and kegs, all of 
of which contained more or less of the stuff usually sold over a Western 
bar. To save paying rent on the building until the goods could be sold, 
the officers got permission to put them in the basement of the store 
where I worked. For some reason best known to them, the sale of the 
goods was put off from time to time, but all summer long almost every 
one at the court house, from the janitor down to the judge on the bench, 
kept coming after the keys to see if the goods were keeping all right. 
In the fall when I saw them selling ^he empty kegs. I thought perhaps 
I had not done my duty by not taking my friends down in the cellar 
once in a while. But I was young then and had been used to telling 
the truth (part of the time). I supposed the goods were to be sold for 
the benefit of the creditors. 

I will admit there are always more or less hardships to be endured 
in settling a new country. Although almost half a century has now 
gone to swell the greedy past and many changes have taken place, quite 
a number of the old landmarks still remain, around which cluster man}^ 
pleasant memories. Of those early days we had much for which to be 
thankful. Then the old stage brought the mail almost every day and 
but few had to worry about their bank accounts. How different was 
the Kansas of the seventies to the Kansas of today, which is now the 
brightest star in the galaxy of States, and I believe the only State that 
ever harvested 181,000,000 bushels of wheat in one year, and now has 
500.000 boys of school age who have never seen a saloon. How does 
that sound to the Eastern States that have such stringent laws that they 
won't allow a church to be opened within 400 feet of a saloon? No, their 
old saloon ])ays a license and has to be protected. Flonest, now, don't 
their laAvs need fixing? 

I often wish the old timers of the seventies could see the little city 
of El Dorado today, with her paving, Avhite way, long shady streets, 
large, well-kept lawns and handsome, modern homes with their winding 
walks and vine-wreathed porches. Avhere in early spring-time the honey- 
suckles, trailing low, stoop to kiss the drooping daisies. But, alas! 
only a few of the seventy-oners are here now. While a number of them, 
have migrated to other parts, many, many old time, early day. never-to- 


be-forgotten friends have taken their last ride to the silent city and there 
the}- sleep, where all down through the coming years the summer breeze 
will ripple the grass on their graves, the sunbeams lovingly caress the 
grass-grown mounds and the winter snows cover them softly over. They 
have gone to that other clime, but 

"You have all heard of that land. 
On the far away strand, 
In the Bible the story is told ; 
Where the storms never come, 
Neither darkness or gloom, 
And nothing shall ever grow old." 

Now, in conclusion, I will say that forty-four times the Christmas 
fires have been kindled on the hearthstones of many happy El Dorado 
homes ; forty-four times the meek-eyed daisies have struggled through 
the April snows and blossomed, faded and died ; forty-four times the 
church bells have proclaimed an old year dead and Xcav Year born 
since that long, long first night I spent in El Dorado, 'wav back in 1871. 
All through these forty-four years of busy cares, of struggle and achieve- 
ment, of hopes deferred and victories counted, my days have run in 
shadow and sunshine with more of practical fact than poetic dreaming, 
through it all I have learned to like the climate and the people, who 
have always treated me well. Then, too, here is where our babies were 
born and have grown to manhood and womanhood and taken their places 
in the world of affairs. So it is only natural for me to expect to spend 
the balance of my days in Kansas and perhaps I will eventually sleep 
that long, long sleep 'neath her blue sky and green sod, for, nestling 
'mongst old apple trees on the brow of a hill that overlooks the beautiful 
Walnut river, we have a comfortable little home, where 

The vines are ever clinging. 

And the geraniums are ever fine : 

And the birds are ever singing 
For that old sweetheart of mine. 


By Elias Bishop. 

Requested to add my mite to tlie historical CAcnts o{ an early date 
of our county, I will say, on the spur of the moment, without lime for 
premeditations, I hardly expect to interest any one. 

I came to Butler county Ajoril 17. 1866, in company with t\vi> men 
and a boy who were hauling flour from Emporia to Mead's ranch, now 
Towanda. We struck camp at the George Danaldson ford on the W'a!- 


nut at Chelsea postoffice, Avhich I think has about held its own up to 
date. The next morning I was to quit my companions and hoof it over 
to the west branch, where father and family were located, but parting 
was not done until after the kid and I had a fight over a pair of yarn 
socks that grandma had given me ere leaving Iowa. AVhile we were 
spatting noses, Old Uncle Ben Gordy rode into camp and inquired if 
there was a boy there by the name of Bishop. I says, "Yep, isn't your 
name Gordy?" I had known him eight years previous to this in Iowa. 
Well, that kid fight was off, but I got my socks. Air. Gordy directed 
me to my folks. Gordy was father-in-law to Penrose Johnson, of the 
Johnson family that were drowned in a ravine near the v.^est branch, six 
miles north of new El Dorado. Old El Dorado was three miles south. 
The mail bags were the only things to be moved up to the new town. 
At this time we had to go to Emporia to the mill. We would occasion- 
ally go to Mead's ranch for groceries. If Henry Martin got out of bacon, 
we could get bacon at the ranch for thirty cents per pound. Martin's 
little store was one-half mile south of James Teter's present home. Sam 
Langdon brought two loads of groceries and his family and other belong- 
ings, and struck camp on a claim belonging to his nephew, William Cow- 
ley, about one mile north of Main and Central, in El Dorado. He began 
to display his goods in a way that didn't suit Martin, who came over and 
gave Sam ten cows and calves for his goods, with an understanding that 
Sam should hike. Sam hiked to Leavenworth, sold the entire bunch, 
doubled his former stock of goods, came back and set up shop in a log 
cabin belonging to Ben King. King had a homestead, a part now of El 
Dorado. Mrs. Langdon and mvself sold goods, while wSam ran a freight 
wagon from Leavenworth. We sold red top boots that cost the firm 
$2.50 for $5 ; ten cents for a clay pipe, the same for a box of matches. 
We had considerable Indian trade. A\'e could get our price for a blanket 
that took an Indian's eye. Martin meanwhile got up on his ear. He 
bought and located a saw mill near where the central bridge is now 
across West Branch. He sawed material and put up a store building 
on the southwest corner of the (now) city square. He moved his goods 
and began business in earnest. Ben King put up a board shanty, 
stretched a sheet across the center, stored his wife in one end and stacked 
up the other end with a few jars of candy, cigars and tobacco. A man 
by the name of Strickland liought a kit of l;)lacksmith tools. Sam Lang- 
don went out of the mercantile business and bought a stone hotel on the 
southeast corner of the city square and New El Dorado became an or- 
ganized town, and Old El Dorado dropped out of history. New El 
Dorado progressed slowly, but kept pace with the wants of the people. 
Coal oil Avas two prices those days, twenty-five and thirty cents per 
gallon. We had not struck oil yet. This Avas a great stock country ; 
stock roamed at will. After the herd law came into effect vou could 
get a cow and calf herded for the season for seventy-five cents. There 
were many deer, antelope and other kinds of wild game and great num- 
bers of buffalo wesf of Wichita. 


Butler county in an early date had many hindrances- to [progress. 
Indian scares (usually proven to be whites, I won't say men), that would 
send numbers up the branches yelling "Indians, run for your life." Many 
times the settlers would run to Emporia and leave their stock for the 
villians to drive off. 

Of course, we had our share of grasshoppers, cyclones, floods and 
droughts and added to these the agitation of the county seat, but also 
came the good old bumper crops and witlial the pleasures of the old 
times were ereater than now. 


By John L. Cupples. 

In 1873 buffalo were still plentiful within fifty to seventy-five miles 
of Wichita. It was a common thing for the people of Butler, Cowley 
and other neighboring counties to get out "on the plains," which then 
meant Kiowa, Harper, Pratt and Meade counties, and that section of 
Kansas, and there kill their winter's meat and make a few dollars besides 
from the buffalo hides (worth $3 each in Wichita') and wolf skins. The 
last of November, December and January were the best months, when 
the buffalo were still in fine condition and their skins were covered with 
the long hair that effectually protected them as they fed upon the bleak- 
prairies. It was noble game and when we, like others, killed the animals 
we wasted much of the carcass, took the tongue, the hind quarters, the 
tallow, the hide and left the rest to the wolves. Many wolf pelts were 
taken by poisoning the wasted meat. The hind quarters would be hung- 
up to freeze and used through the winter of "jerked" — cut into strips 
and put for a short period in boiling brine and then dried. Buffalo 
hunting was great sport, but in this case there was tragedy and suffer- 
ing in it. 

On January 16, 1873, Henry Martin concluded to take some goods 
and go to the Medicine river and trade with the Osage Indians. He 
loaded five wagons, those of Stephen Fowler, W. E. Smith, John Car- 
penter, Tom Lafferty and his own.^ Some young fellows decided to go 
along and hunt buffalo and have some fun. Dr. Sherrod Dutton with 
Henry Martin, Josh Holden with John Carpenter, Ed Fowler and his 
father and myself with Tom Lafferty, Sam Betts with W. E. Smith. 
McFarland and Alfred Comb went along with the teams. The first 
night we camped at Wichita. It began snowing, with increasing cold. 
By the time we got to Ninescah, it was cold and we concluded to camp. 
We undertook to double teams across the river with the loaded wagons. 
Martin started in first. The river was ([uite high and the team became 
unhitched' in the middle of the stream. Martin jumped into the water 
to his waist. The river was full of slush ice. He righted the team and 
Dutton drove it out. We finally all got across and camped for the night. 



The next mornino" it was snowins: and continued to all dav. Init we drove 
on and came to the Chikaskia river by night. It was late and we did 
not cross. The next morning there was a foot of snow^ and the river was 
frozen over. A\> stayed there that day. The next night was colder. 
In the morning we undertook to move and found the ice almost strong 
enough to hold a horse. We drove to the river and chopped a road 
through the ice. The weather began to turn warm and more snow came 
from the south. About noon the wind shifted to the north and by 2 
o'clock there was the worst blizzard anyone ever saw. AA'e were then 
on the divide between Chikaskia and the Medicine rivers. The wind 
blew so hard and the snow fell so fast we could scarcely see from one 
team to the other. The trail was covered with drifted snow so that no 
one knew w^hich way to go, and could travel only the way the storm 
drove. Right at this time we fell in with five or six more teams, hunters 
from Cowley county. We stopped and held a council of war and con- 
cluded we could do nothing but wait until the storm ceased. This was 
about three or fotir o'clock in the afternoon. Most of the men were 
panic-stricken, but a few of us concltided we were not out there to perish. 
Some of the men covered their heads with blankets and laid down, 
seeminglv indifferent to their fate. Several of us tried to g-et them to 
make an effort to protect themselves by moving, exercising, but they 
seemed lifeless, despairing. One man took an ox whip and whipped 
three men out of a wagon, where they had lain down without even a 
cover on the wagon. Some partly unhitched the teams, which stood 
shivering and suffering in the storm and cold. One _man unhitched the 
tugs and the team drifted off with the storm. The next morning we 
found that Henry Martin, Doctor Button, Stephen Fowler and Alfred 
Combs were badly frozen. AA"e took sacks of ear corn and built a fire 
on a knoll where the snow had been blown away, and carried the help- 
less men to it and cared for them as best we could. W^e sent out a detail 
to find some place of shelter. They soon came to the cedar brakes of 
the Aledicine river, where the deep canyons were full of dead dry cedars. 
We moved -in there, leaving our wagons on the top of the brakes and 
taking our teams down into the canyon and stayed several days. Two 
of our horses died from exposure, which left and extra wagon. We 
doubled up and moved on, came into the "big timber"' below where Med- 
icine Lodge now stands. There Avere about 300 Indians camped there. 
A\'e hunted four or five days, got all the buffalo meat we wanted and 
started back. Coming to the Chikaskia, we saw several buffalo cross the 
river. Steve Fowler became very uneasy about the buffalo; if we 
could only get across the river we could get some of them. Steve had 
his frozen feet done up in blankets. They were badh^ frozen. One of 
the hunters said: "Steve, get your gun and we will go down to the 
river and look at it." The river was running full of slush ice and there 
Avas no chance to get across on the ice. The hunter pulled his boots and 
stockings off and rolled his breeches up to his body and carried Steve 


across and grot the buffalo. All of these men are still living except 
INIartin and Sam Betts. Martin died from the effects of the trip and Sam 
Betts moved to Ohio and died some years afterward. 

I neglected to say that the trip was not barren of financial results. 
Dutton was left behind on the Medicine river and traded the goods of 
Henry ]\Iartin to the Indians for buffalo hides, wolf pelts, tanned and 
manufactured furs, etc., and later came safely home. At one time we 
thought that Dutton would at least lose his hands from freezing. His 
fingers, hard as sticks, stood out like limbs on a tree. He told me he was 
as good as dead, but I took him out of the wagon to the fire and sought 
to cheer him. He told me to make some flour dough and wrap his 
fingers in it. which I did, tying strips torn from a blanket on over the 
dough. Strange to say. he recovered. Several of the men were very 
severely frozen, but escaped with their lives. Martin came home and 
survived for a month. The flesh from one heel sloughed away, gan- 
grene set in and he died. 

On this trip probably twenty buffalo were killed by our party. 
Lowler killer some. John Carpenter, who had no gun, killed one with 
a horse pistol. The Indians were after the herd as well as we and drove 
it on us. Carpenter was lucky to hit one in the back, breaking it. The 
Indians did not get a single buffalo. I do not mean to boast, but I got 

One evening we camped about sundown and while the men were 
caring for their teams I went to a deep canyon. I saw a monster buffalo 
feeding on the dead buffalo grass. I got to within thirty feet of him, as 
the wind was blowing from him toward me. I watched him quite a 
while as he ripped the trailing grass from the soil. When I shot he fell 
to his knees, then settled down with his legs under him, quivering in 
the throes of death. I discreetly approached him from the rear and 
jabbed him with my gun barrel. In an instant he was on his feet and 
after me. I jumped down a bank; he barely stopped at the brink and 
fell dead. 


There are many things as well as many associates of my early days 
in Butler county that have passed beyond the vale of recollection. It 
is a long time to look back over and cull one's memory, and still there 
are many things not obliterated. Of such I will write as they now re- 
cur to men. 

I came to Kansas in March, 1870, located my claim, went back to 
Humboldt, in Allen county, took out my homstead papers, bought a side 
of bacon, a half bushel of potatoes and a sack of flour, returned and took 
possession of my claim on March 25, 1870. By dark I had my wagon 
unloaded and the wagon cover stretched over my traps, except my side 
of bacon, which was placed on top of a pile of dry wood. T slept soundly 


through the night. In the morning when I went to prepare my break- 
fast I discovered that wolves had made away with my meat. I could 
see where something had been dragged over the burned prairie. I took 
the trail and after a while found a small piece of the side, covered with 
dirt and teeth marks. I cleaned it as well as I could and after going 
nearly a mile to the creek after water, had "flap jacks," coffee and 
broiled bacon for my breakfast. 

A few days later it rained all day so hard that I could not get my 
meals, as I had neither house nor tent. Near evening, being very hun- 
gry, I took a few slices of bacon and a cup of flour arid went to my near- 
est neighbor's house, G. P. and I. H. Neiman, and we had a sort of a 
union supper, they furnishing eggs and coffee and I the traditional "flap 
jacks" and bacon. I spent quite a pleasant evening. Bidding the boys 
"goodnight," I started for camp. The night was very dark. I went to 
where I thought the camp ought to be, but the blame thing wasn't 
there. I concluded that it had run away and started out after it, but 
after running around and over the prairie for several hours I gave up 
the chase and concluded to go back to the Xeiman brothers' house' and 
stay there the remainder of the night. Their house, like my camp, had 
disappeared and was nowhere to be found. I concluded that it was a 
night of revel for inanimate bodies and, being tired and almost frozen, I 
became reflective. A good comfortable home back in Illinois gradually 
came to my view ; then a wife and three little fatherless girls began to 
appear in cycloramic form ; then came along an old hay shed, that was 
real enough, for I crawled in. got under some rubbish and shivered till 
peep o' day, but did not sleep. Everything had got back to its proper place 
in the morning, ,and I concluded to stay a while longer, and am here yet. 
In those days we went to El Dorado or Towanda for our mail, to Cedar 
Point for our flour, and to Emporia for our lumber. Once I was out 
nine days for a load of lumber and it rained every day. 

In the fall of 1870, all things had changed. Nearly every quarter of 
a section had an occupant and houses were quite numerous. We were 
the only ones at that time who had an organ, and on Sundays our home 
was usually overrun with persons, many of them very good singers, so 
the day was passed in singing Sunday school hymns and music. Once 
in the fall of 1870, we had twenty-five visitors and our store of supplies 
being about played out. my wife called me aside for advice. She said 
there was a little flour, a few eggs and a few squashes on hand. I told 
her all right, we would do the best we could under the circumstances. 
So we went to work to get the meal while the girls were to entertain 
the company. The following is the bill of fare : Corn coffee, water gravy, 
Oaked squash, stewed squash, squash and batter mixed and fried, squash 
muffins, then at the head of the list for pastry came squash pie. All went 
away seemingly happy and well pleased. AVife said I was a "Daisy" and 
I guess I would have been dazed had it not been for the supply of 
squash. , 


As we had no schools at that time our girls were required to have 
a lesson every day, my wife being the teacher and superintendent of 
household affairs, while I broke sod with a team of ponies and said bad 
words all day, and studied anatomy and physiolngy at night and recited 
to mv wife. 


By M. A. Palmer. 

I am not given much to writing, especially to remembering things 
that at the time seemed ordinary, and therefore I fear I cannot write 
entertainingly of my early experiences. I came to Butler county in 
February, 1867, and on the w^ay met Archibald Ellis on the Cottonwood 
river. He had already lived here some ten years, and encouraged me 
to come on down. I saw the McCabes near Sycamore Springs, old man 
Boswell on his farm at El Dorado and Ben King, then a grocer on the 
townsite of El Dorado. I also made the accjuaintance of Frank and 
James Gordy and Sam Langdon. 

I took my first claim on the ^^'alnut below El Dorado, but in June, 
1867, decided that the farm I now own on Little ^^"alnut was good 
enough for me. It has made me a good home and I can trulv say I 
made it with my own hands. In June, 1867, when I settled here, there 
were four families on Little Walnut, and there was decided freshness 
and newness about the country. I knew all of the early comers here — 
Dave and Henry Yates, ,C. C. Bowers, Lee Bottsford, Jack Brinley, 
Charles Tabing and Mr. Rankin. Then there weremany later ones like 
Sam Hyde, G. W. Packard, Peter Johnson, the Lambdin boys, G. A. 
Kenoyer, Captain Armstrong and many others. 

I think we must have been a pretty good lot of people. We or- 
ganized the A'igilantes, but had no cause to act. There was trouble 
down on Hickory Creek when Capt. Jack Armstrong was kukluxed, but 
we didn't regard that very seriously. I was with a party in 1868 that 
pursued and captured two Osage Indians who came into the county and 
killed two men. The Indians were raging because they were losing their 
territory by treaty (?) with the whites. They slipped in and finding 
wSamuel Dunn and a man named Anderson camped two or three miles 
south of Douglass, shot them and cut their heads off. Dunn and Ander- 
son were alone and unconscious of danger. The Indians, in addition to 
other plunderings, took $270 from Dunn, and a span of mules, and re- 
turned to their agency. Birney Dunn, G. D. Prindle, myself and a num- 
ber of us pursued the two Indians, who surrendered to us and were taken 
to Topeka for trial. The court decided it had no jurisdiction and sent the 
])risoners back to this county. 

On the return the sheriff and the Indians stojjped over night with 
Nelson De Moss on South Fork of the Cottonwood and the Indians 
escaped. They were never recaptured or punished, I believe. This 


illustrates one of the perils of the time. The great flood of immigra- 
tion soon satisfied "Lo, the poor Indian," that he had no chance bat- 
tling with the pale face and this, I think, was the last of their raids 
and depredations. 


By Mrs. M. E. Bronson (Mrs. C. E. Dickinson.) 

In the winter of sixty-eight the praises of the beautiful Walnut val- 
le}' reached the ears of myself and family while at Topeka. We were 
not long in loading our earthly possessions in a wagon and setting out 
for the new land. With the night came my first experience in camp 
life. I tried to be romantic and to enjoy the beauties of nature; 
imagined myself Availed in by the air, domed by heaven's blue, lit up 
by the eternal stars ; my ear caught the sound of rustling leaves and 
rippling stream. I was soon brought down to the practical for, looking 
out in the twilight, I saw a large wolf. When supper was served our 
couch was arranged on the "ground floor," more substantial than com- 
fortable. That would was no insomniac, so the time was passed paint- 
ing pictures on invisible canvas, the principal figures being reptiles 
and wild animals. A newly married couple had joined us. They made 
their bed too near the fire. I ventured my advice about the matter. 
They treated it with derision, saying they had camped out before. In 
the night I detected an odor, and discovered that their bed was on 
fire. They smothered the flames, wrapped the fragments about them 
and again lay down to pleasant dreams. 

The wagon at last stopped and the driver said, "This is El Dorado." 
My heart stood still and my tongue refused to wag, for my disappoint- 
ment was great. I did expect to see a few houses in a place assuming 
a name suggestive of such possibilities. J\Iy little boy, looking; into my 
face, said, "Llama, is this heaven?" He had heard his papa describe 
the country as a perfect paradise. I sat in that wagon, gazing at the 
little log store which I was told was Henry Martin's and that he was 

Mr. Bronson had purchased a claim in partnership with a bachelor. 
On it was a cabin. In his absence that bachelor had found a wife and 
she informed me that the cabin would not hold two families. A deliv- 
erer came, Jerry Conner, who offered us a temporary home in his cabin, 
which was gladly accepted. A number of bachelors were here and they 
seemed to almost venerate me and made me feel I was a special creation. 
After a couple of months this theory was dissolved by a woman passing 
on a load of hay; it was Mrs. William H. Thomas. 

To prepare food, corn meal Avas fixed up in so many ways it lost its 
identity ; dried pumpkin stewed and seasoned till it disclaimed relation- 
ship with its kind, and shorts was converted into brown bread that was 
not ashamed to meet its aristocratic Boston relative, the bean. Mv 


honesty was severely tested too. Mr. Conner had secured a half bushel 
of potatoes for seed and whenever I looked at them, for safety, I repeated 
the proper commandment. How happy he made me by saying, "You can 
cook a mess of those potatoes, but carefully cut the eyes out." They 
were about the size of walnuts. Our sleeping" room also served as sitting 
room. ^M^en I awoke the first morning after arrival, a half dozen men 
were sitting around the fire place smoking and I didn't arise. About 
nine o'clock ]\Ir. Bronson came in expecting breakfast. "Are you going 
to lie here all day?" he asked. "Yes," I said, "unless those men vacate." 
"AVe do not do that way here," said he, "we just turn our backs!" 

In the spring of sixty-eight. El Dorado was platted. The first of 
July we moved into our house ; it was fourteen feet square, set on four 
stones, lacked a door, windows, floor and roof. The rest of it was all 
right. We worked by evolution in those days, slow but sure. Every 
day a few shingles went on our roof, for they were divided up as fast 
as made. 

In sixty-nine, one evening while sitting by my little three-legged 
stove, trying to keep it warm, for it was aged-, there was a knock at the 
door and a gentleman, two young girls and a boy stood there. "Can you 
keep my daughters over night? I can find no accommodation here 
and they are very tired." One room and one bed. Looking again, 
I saw they were in mourning, and I felt they were motherless and in that 
wilderness. I made them comfortable in the only bed, my family reclin- 
ing on the soft side of a hard wood floor. One of these young ladies 
afterward became the wife of Alvah Shelden, so long the editor of the 
Walnut Valley "Times." AVe sometimes really "entertain angels un- 

About this time we celebrated our second Fourth of July. I was in 
a dilemma. My cook stove sat out in the prairie. It wouldn't bake, 
but Mrs. A. M. Burdett came to my relief. I went with her and we 
baked cake. In the absence of butter we used ham grease. How do 
you suppose we got it? It was very much like the children of Israel 
got their manna. Mr. Burdett and Mr. Bronson were riding on the 
prairie west of town and found a pile of hams (possibly lost by some 
freighter). They divided them and carried them home. The two fam- 
ilies revelled in the ham, fried ham, boiled ham, and ham devilled, for 
some time. It was a Godsend and we accepted it as such. 

The little slab real estate office of Bronson & Kellogg was the 
embryo of present "land advocate." Small papers issued at much 
expense were the instruments that slid the great American desert (locat- 
ed here by eastern emigration) far to the west, making it possible for 
the present real estate men to bring in excursionists by the car load, feed 
them at hotels and transport them over the country in easy carriages. 
The first farmers turned the sod and planted the trees that broke the 
drought and frightened the grasshopper back to his home on the plains. 

The first physician rode over the country on horse back with saddle 


bag. If the patient survived, i\Ir. Doctor took his pay in wild fruit or 
something like it; if he died he could look to the next world for pay but 
held no mortgage here. 

The first lawyer dispersed Gladstonian eloquence over a Texas cow. 
At the termination of the trial he held either the horns or the tail while 
his client sat extracting the lacteal fluid. The attorney now is found 
milking the cow, while his client is holding her and wondering why this 
is thus. 

The first evangelist labored hard and long, and one convert was the 
result ; he secured that one by marrying her ! The first preachers came, 
like the apostles of old, on foot. I am afraid they would be called tramps 
now. There was no creed-repeating automaton!, dealing out ecclesiasti- 
cal nostrums, nor did he carry a pitchfork of excommunication. He 
simply taught to love God and man, reaching alike the iron clad Calvin- 
ist and the agnostic Ingersolian ; sowing the seed from which sprang 
these beautiful churches and all they represent. The first Sunday school 
was taught in the grove on the banks of the Walnut. I taught the 
Bible class and was neither a biblical scholar nor a church member. 
Many times I was confounded by questions. WHien wound completely 
up I would say I thought there were some things God did not intend 
for men to know and I thought it wicked to be prying into such things! 
I sowed the seed but do not know that it germinated. 

The buck-board was in time followed by the stage, the stage by the 
railroad. The weariest vears of my life were spent while waiting for 
the railroad. With that came all the elements of civilization, develop- 
ment and improvements and that most necessary commodity — money, 
without which little can be accomplished. I am glad I am done pioneer- 
ing but I recall those early and humble days with keenest pleasure. T 
was voun""er then and cares had little hold on me. 


By James Dodwell of Wall Street.. 

The old chair, formerly Jerry Conner's, referred to in a late issue of 
the Daily "Republican" is still doing service, holding a warm place in 
the old pioneer harness shop, the first bank building in El Dorado, and 
it has seen its best days. The lumber was freighted overland from 
Emporia to build the pioneer shop. There were very few chairs in 
its class forty-five years ago in El Dorado township. The early settlers 
were not overburdened with furniture of any kind and most of the 
homes in El Dorado were furnished with the very plainest, often home 
made, furniture. Mucli of the necessary household articles were 
freighted in overland 1)V emigrants. 

The country was undeveloped at this time, and El Dorado w'as a 
little inland town of two or three hundred new settlers. The business 


houses were nearly all one story frame shanties. There were only one 
or two two-story structures on the townsite. One of these structures 
stood where the Farmers and Merchants bank now stands. The upper 
part of the building" Avas known as the Chicago hall, and it was here 
that public meetings were held. Another, Martin's general store, stood 
on the corner now known as the Haberlein building. The print shop of 
the late T. B. Murdock was in the upper rooms, and it was here that he 
put out the first issue of the AA'alnut Valley "Times." Through the 
agency of his paper Mr. Murdoch urged upon the newcomers the beau- 
tifying" of their homes by the planting of trees, etc. 

Among the first of the early settlers to come here were Dr. Allen 
White, H. M. Johnson, Dr. McKenzie, Charley Selig, J. H. Betts and 
others. I remember that about this tiine Judge A. L. L. Hamilton made 
his famous walk from Florence to set stakes in the little inland town of 
the A\"alnut valley to make it his future home. The judge to this day 
claims that he rode in on the southwestern stage from Cottonwood Falls, 
but the other story is told on him. 

The pioneers and young men of those early days had not time to 
sit around in rocking chairs, puffing a clay pipe, and the very few that 
did, had to use kerosene and tallow candle lights to see with, for the 
residents' residences and business houses that could sport two kerosene 
lamps were going some. The young men who came here forty-five 
years ago today with a firm determination to hew out of the, almost, 
wilderness, are now the backbone and sinew of the beautiful little city 
of El Dorado. WHiile there was little time for play and plenty of hard 
work, yet they did find time for pleasure, such as it was. Their chief 
pleasure was the playing of harmless tricks, the tin canning of every 
strange dog that landed on the townsite. Every emigrant caravan pass- 
ing through would have a plentiful supply of the felines. Conspicuous 
in this favored sport were Frank Frazier, Charley Foulks, J. H. Betts, 
John Donnelly, George Brockaway, Jimmy Decou and others. Bill Cain, 
who clerked for Frazier and Charley Foulks always managed to keep 
a supply of tin cans on hand. One afternoon v/hen business was a little 
quiet, Donnelly, whose place of business was where the \A^alnut A'^alley 
"Times" now is, noticed a mule hitched out in front. The jokesters got 
busy and tin canned a man's dog. The dog ran out through the build- 
ing, and right under the mule. The mule scared and took hitchrack 
and all through the town, while the merchants flocked to their doors to 
watch the fun. The farmer threatened to bring a damage suit against 
Donnelly, but the bunch compromised by visiting Jim Thomas' and lin- 
ing up to see who could get away with the most, feel the ha])piest and 
get home safely. 

Jacob Decou who emigrated from Michigan and settled on a home- 
stead in Fairview township, brought a big shepherd dog with him. Jake 
was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and he soon found he was the only 
man in the township without a partx', so he started nul to hunt up and 




organize a party of his kind in Butler county. He brought his Mich- 
igan dog to town and visited Frazier's corner. AVhile being introduced, 
his dog was being canned. But the dog barked when we tried to attach 
the can. turned around, looked tlie bunch over and walked out of the 
store with the can tied to him and lay down in front of the store to sleep. 
But Jake got his Democratic organization, and as Frank Frazier always 
said, he was a good organizer. But he never could land any of the pie. 
He found Dr. Allen AMiite, Vincent Brown. Archibald Ellis and others 
in ahead of him. 

In those earlv davs the little town seldom saw a show of any kind, 
only such as they put together for their own amusement. One time 
the first circus to pull off a show in El Dorado brought their skin 
o-ames with them and some of the citizens fell into their trap. One man, 
after coming to town for the circus, made the remark that he had never 
seen a Texan steer play the game any better. He had been fleeced him- 
self, but after several visits to the bank and a call on Attorney Gardner, 
the circus folks gave his money back, and he succeeded in running the 
whole circus bunch out of town. Money was a great thing in those days,, 
and as we look back and recall the only few wdio are here now, we take 
pleasure to give the best part of the old room in the pioneer harness 
shop to the old chair that has seen its best days ; because the chair is 
one of the writer's most cherished belongings, it is to him a reminder 
of his early days in El Dorado. 


By Mrs. W. H. Ellet. 

My advent into the State of Kansas dates from May lo, 1872. having 
left my native State of New Jersey on the 5th in company with my 
mother, to visit a sister Avho came with her husband here in 1868, and 
who lives on the same farm that they settled upon then, about twelve 
miles from Topeka. The journey then seemed to the friends we left 
behind to be" a very great undertaking and almost interminable and all 
said, 'AA'hy what do you want to go to Kansas for, it is a desert and a 
wilderness and you will be scalped by the Indians. I don't ever expect 
to- see vou come home as'ain." And sure enough thev didn't, for several 
3^ears at least. In 1876 I visited the centennial in Philadelphia, 
which was my first trip east, for it was not very long after reaching here 
and during my visit in Shawnee county before a certain gentleman with 
long dark hair curling all around and hanging down on his shoulders 
and a broad brimmed black hat, having heard of my recent arrival here, 
put in an appearance at the door of my sister's house one day,, and after 
being ushered in in a very hospitable manner as is the custom with 
Kansas, he sought to renew the old acquaintance of earlier da} s in my 
Jersey home and to tell the old, old story, .which is ever new. Suffice 


it to say that in October of that same year I came with tlie aforesaid 
gentleman as his bride to Butler county. We came by rail as far as the 
beautiful little town of Florence consisting at that time of perhaps a 
lialf dozen little houses all tc^ld, but it contained among those a hotel 
where we were ccimpelled to spend one night, and such a night I shall 
never forget for it was one of horror as we could neither sleep upon the 
bed or upon the floor, owing to the unnumbered marauders, who chased 
us from one place to another until sleep was out of the cpiestion and we 
had to dress ourselves in sheer desperation and nait for daylight to 
come. When the morning came, and we were glad to see it. after par- 
taking of a very frugal and meagre breakfast, the old stage coach with 
its four horses attached came lumbering up in which we were to resume 
our journey to El Dorado. It did not take us long to arrange ourselves 
and luggage and with the comforting thought that now at least v.^e could 
get a peaceful nap, when our attention was called to a gentleman whom 
we found was to be our traveling companion, and was introduced to us 
as Mr. Black, who, by the way, is our own inimitable Judge Black and 
fellow townsman of the present day. There was one other occupant of 
the old stage coach that day that was much in evidence at times 
all along the journey. Thus was made our debut intoiButler county. 
Many and great have been the changes since that time just forty-four 
years ago. But that thirty mile ride in the old stage coach still lingers 
in my mind. But as all things must have an end so it did, and about 
-dark we were rewarded by having- the town of El Dorado pointed out 
to us, and we at last reached our destination, and I think twenty houses 
would count everything on the townsite. And now the first thing that 
we anticipated was in store for us was a rousing big charivari as was the 
custom in those days, but instead of that a very pleasant surprise party 
had been planned for us at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Ellet who 
were living in the little home that had been built by our father. General 
Ellet, for them when she came here as a bride. I came here in the same 
capacity and" a strange coincidence it is that m}-self and husband should 
occupy the same house after a lapse of so many years. But to 
return to the party. It resolved itself into a dance and as all were trip- 
ping the light fantastic toe, suddenly a lady, one of our number, tripped 
out of her white underskirt and without seeming scarcely to attract the 
attention of the dancers, gathered it up and threw it across her arm and 
on with the dance. In the early days Mr. Ed Ellet was joked al^out 
building his house out so near Towanda and asked if he would ha\'e his 
mail come to El Dorado or Towanda. For there was then what seemed 
to be a large tract of unoccupied land between his home and the four 
corners where our main streets now intersect. This lot now is the choice 
location upon the townsite. The first large surprise party is said to 
have been given at their house, (the (|uestion now arises, where did 
you put them?) the guests taking canned cove oysters, crackers and 
canned fruits, and Mrs. Ellett furnished the milk and home made cakes 


and the jolly time of that party was the topic of talk for many weeks. 
Among that number might be mentioned the Gardners, the Foulks, the 
Fraziers and the Ellets as being contemporary. E. J. Hitchner, Avho 
was a guest at our surprise party and whom some may remember, was 
a partner with my husband on the ranch that was afterward my home 
for about three years previous to my arrival. He remained with us a 
short time and then in a few months decided he would return to New 
Jersev. He did so and became my successor in the same school I had 
taught just before coming west and in the course of time married my 
very best girl friend, thus showing how strangely circumstances adjust 
themselves. We moved the last of October, to our ranch which was 
twenty-five miles distant from El Dorado in a southeast direction and 
there we established our home, "we two." Our modest little home con- 
sisting of five rooms stood on quite an eminence overlooking the broad 
prairies as far as the eye could see, nothing but prairie, and a little line 
of timber skirting the streams. So different from the heavily timbered 
country of my own native land and yet I was m love with it and the 
spot for our home had been chosen by my husband because he had killed 
a deer there, which seemed to me to be quite romantic and odd. And 
althousrh neighbors were few and far off and manv a dav I would not 
see any one but my husband and never a wagon passing, I think I can 
trulv say I was not lonely. I busied myself in my work, trying to add a 
touch here and there each day to make our home more attractive and 
homelike and every new article of furniture or anything we added in 
those days seemed a great possession. What a pleasure in setting up a 
home of one's own. There is a new interest every day. Occasionally 
while at my work I would suddenly be startled by a sound or grunt, 
but never a knock, and upon looking up there would be standing perhaps 
by the door or window one, two, three and perhaps more, great, burly, 
big Indians wrapped in their gay blankets. One morning in particular 
do I remember an Indian came and seeing a little fat puppy running 
around the yard begged my husband to give it to him. He 'said "puppy- 
heap-soup." In the course of time and in the order of natural events, a 
little sirl came to our house to make it her home, and two vears later 
another, both of whom are now grown to womanhood and are now, as 
most of you know, identified with two of the pioneer families of Butler 
county. In two years again a son and heir was added to the family 
of Ellet and we called his name AA'illiam after his father. He, too, has 
-left the home nest and in true succession has established a home of his 
own with a life partner, both of whom commenced school days together 
and the school bo}' and girl flirtation ripened into an everlasting union. 
What a dreary time it was for the pioneer up to 1875, which was a 
tremendous crop year following one of great drouth and devastation by 
grasshoppers. To the prosperous Butler county farmer of today the 
distress and privation of the early settlers here is not understood or 
realized. They tried the very souls of men or the people and few were 


Steadfast and remained to win the battle. There are few old landmarks 
left to show where some poor unfortunate had failed to make a success 
and in a fit of despondency deserted his claim, but they are mostly all 
gone now and replaced by the thrifty farmhouse with 'its shade trees 
around it and a fine large windmill and an orchard of good bearing fruit 
trees, and a splendid grove of trees planted in many instances for cool 
and refreshing shade under which cattle can shield themselves from our 
hot summer sun, all of which bears the stamp of thrift, improvement and 

Well do I remember when our first railroad reached El Dorado. I 
stood with Mrs. Ed Ellet on the porch of the little house which was then 
their home, and which has since been ours, and we hailed with delight 
the long drawn out whistle of the first engine that entered our town one 
beautiful summer evening. A friend was visiting us at the time from 
Topeka and standing with us exclaimed. "Oh, I am so glad. Now I will 
not have to make the journey to Florence in the old stage coach. It is 
called the El Dorado branch of the A. T. & S. F. and came into our own 
town on or about the first of January, 1877. Then, indeed, did we feel 
that we were being drawn nearer to civilization. 

And well do I remember Avhen the new town of Leon sprang into 
existence. It was founded in the fall of 1878 by ]\Ir. C. R. Xoe who in 
1879 began the publication of the Leon "Indicator," and which, by the 
way, would be very interesting to know that the first two issues of it 
were printed on the "Times" press in El Dorado. Leon is said to be the 
fourth city in size in Butler county and is a thriving town of about 800 
people and a credit to our county. It made a pleasant stopping place 
and diversion for us in our long journey of twenty-five miles in going 
back and forth from El Dorado to our ranch. We would often stop and 
refresh both ourselves and team then in better spirits. It is perhaps 
fresher in my mind than any other town because I watched it grow from 
its infancy and it seemed to be just where it was most needed. El 
Dorado, Augusta, Douglass, Leon, Whitewater, Towanda, Brainerd, 
Potwin and Chelsea and a number of minor towns constitute the prin- 
cipal ones of Butler county. Kansas has been called the home of the 
cyclone, but in later days, if Kansas can surpass some of the terrific ones 
that we hear of in the eastern states and along the coast I hope I may 
never see it. The early settlers will remember, however, the dreadful 
tornado of June 16, 1871, which was the year previous to my arrival, in 
which it is said more houses were blown down in El Dorado than were 
here in sixty-nine, and in which our friends, the late Dr. McKenzie and 
wife, lost a dear little one. Also the one which occurred on the night 
of March 31, 1890, which utterly destroyed the town of Towanda and 
laid so many homes desolate and several lives were lost. Nine. I think, 
were badly injured and some fatally. I remember standing one summer 
afternoon with my husband on our porch at the farm and while the sun 
was shining brightly and the rain falling heavily and glistening like 


dewdrops, our attention was attracted to the strange aspect of the sky 
and we noticed about six miles distant up on Rock Creek we could see 
the dark and ominous clouds gathering" and rolling and resolving them- 
selves at last in the shape of a funnel come down until it touched the 
earth and seemed to scatter everything within its reach. It struck an 
empty house (fortunately) on the prairie and demolishing it, scattered 
it to the four winds until scarcely a vestige of a board could be found. 



By T. A. Kramer. 




Many humorous incidents have occurred in the experience of the 
bar in Butler county, but most, if not all of them, must have been seen 
and heard to be fully appreciated. They lose half their interest in being 
told. For instance, no more amusing" event occurred in the courts of 
Butler county than Mike Murphy's lawsuit over the horse he had 

To appreciate the story one must have seen Mike, who was a true 
son of Erin, have seen his quaint dress, his grotesque figure, his rich 
brogue and quaint expression. You must have seen him turn square 
around in his chair and face the judge and with many gestures say. 
"Well, Mis-ter Jackson, it were this wa-y." You must then have heard 
him explain to the judge that the horse that he bought was unsound, 
and explain to the judge wherein the horse was unsound. You must 
have seen his look of surprise and digust when the case was decided 
against him. You must have seen him indignantly stride from the court 
room repeating again and again. "It's n-o fa-ir, Mis-ter Jackson, its n-o 
fa-ir." You must have seen him as he left the court room, return once 
more to the door and shout back at the judge, "It's n-o fa-ir, Mis-ter 


Joe Evertson, in the early days, lived on the Little Walnut. He was 
continually quarreling with his neighbors. He was a good friend to the 
lawyer. He thrived on lawsuits. Seldom was there a term nf court when 
he did not a])pear as plaintiff or defendant, or both, in several legal tilts. • 
He kept the justice of the peace of his township bus\- in the meantime. 



One time court convened. The judge arrived from Wichita, took off his 
coat and hat, proceeded to his desk, looked gravely over the court room 
and said. "Is Joe Evertson here?" Someone replied that Joe was in 
town and on his way to the court room. His honor then gravely said, 
"AVell, then, Air. Sheriff, you can open court." 


In Joe's numerous lawsuits he employed, discharged and re-em- 
ployed, in turn, most of the lawyers in the county. For a while George 
Gardner was his dependence. George's business called him from home 
more or less and he had a boy lawyer in his office who opened his mail 
for him and looked after his affairs in his absence. One morning the 
young lawyer, in the discharge of his duties, opened a letter from Joe, 
wherein Joe informed George that he had an important lawsuit on 
hand before a justice of the peace in Leon. He explained the situation 
and asked George to be on hand fully equipped and ready for a fight. 
He wound up by saying, "Don't send that fool boy of your's ; I can do 
better than he can myself." 


Speaking of George Gardner, who is now dead and gone, will recall 
the fact to all who knew him that he was one of the most powerful 
advocates that ever addressed a court or jury. AVe believe that no other 
lawyer who ever practiced in Butler county, or in the State of Kansas 
as to that matter, was his superior as a trial lawyer. Part of his success 
was due to his earnestness and the faith that he always had in his cause. 
George would not take a case where he believed his client was not in 
the right, but George could never be made to believe that his client was 
not right. It was said of him that he could not salt a gold mine and sell 
it to some one else, for before he got through with the job he would be 
so enthused in his enterprise that he would believe in the genuineness 
of the mine himself and refuse to sell it at any price. 

Well, George had won a verdict in a hard fought battle. A motion 
was made by the attorneys on the other side for a new trial. The court 
called the motion for hearing. George asked to be excused until he 
could so to his office and bring his authorities. No sooner had he 
retired for that purpose than the attorney on the other side said to the 
court that he had come to the conclusion that there was nothing in 
his motion and that he would withdraw it. The judge, finding nothing 
else to do adjourned court for the term, just after which George re- 
turned into court, staggering under the weight of a load of law books he 
was carrying. The judge, who had not yet retired from the bench, with 
a sly wink at the rest of the lawyers, said, 'T have grave doubts about 
this verdict ; I do not believe it is necessary for the other side to say any- 


thing, but unless Air. Gardner can convince me that the verdict should 
be upheld I will have to sustain a motion for a new trial." This sur- 
prised George, but did not daunt him. He opened one authority after 
another. He talked long and loud and earnestly. He expounded and 
re-expounded, but the judge was very hard to convince. He kept 
finding fault with the authorities that George produced and said they 
were not in point. He could not see the application which George 
strove to make him see, and finally, after talking for at least an hour, 
with the perspiration rolling from him in great beads, completely ex- 
hausted and hoarse from talking loud and earnestly, George sat down 
in disgust. The laugh that follo^ved George's effort did not cease 
until George ''set them up" to judge, lawyers, clerk, sheriff and every- 
body else. 


W. P. Campbell, a lawyer who came to El Dorado in the early 
days, was appointed by the Governor, judge of the new district. While 
on the bench he acquired the name of Tiger Bill, how or why it is not 
necessary to consider, but he was some judge, and whatever other 
faults he may have had, his worst enemy never called him a coward 
either in a legal battle or in a physical contest. One day when he w^as 
presiding during a session of court at El Dorado, a jury brought in a 
verdict which very much displeased him. He turned to the jury and 
informed them that the life, liberty and propert}' of the citizens of the 
county were not safe in their hands; that they were discharged for 
the term, and that he hoped to never see any of them again. Naturally, 
the jurors did not like this. They went down to the front door of the 
court house and resolved that the judge should see them again; that 
they would wait until he came out and make it hot for him. The 
sheriff overheard the mutterings of the jury, and in order to avoid 
bloodshed and keep the judge from being lynched, went to him pri- 
vately and gave him a hint as to what was going on, and told him to 
remain in the court room until the jurors had dispersed. But that w^as 
not Tiger Bill. He gave a snort, stuffed his hands in his pockets, 
walked deliberately dow^n out among the jurors, paced up and down 
in front of the court house in their full view and within easy striking 
distance, looked them square in the face and waited for the attack, 
but it was never made. 


It was during Tiger Bill's term as judge that the jury found a 
defendant charged with stealing hogs not guilty, and the foreman 
gravely arose and asked the court if he might say a word or two to the 
defendant. Having obtained permission, he, in the name of the jury, 
gravely advised the defendant not to steal any more hogs. 



A man was once charged with stealing hogs. On his trial, which 
occurred at El Dorado, several people swore that he had admitted that 
he stole the hogs ; in fact, had boasted of it, but there was a great deal 
of prejudice against the prosecuting witness. The attorney for the de- 
fendant appealed to the prejudice of the jury for sympathy for the de- 
fendant's family, and in turn grew livid Avith hate when he spoke of 
the prosecuting witness and shed crocodile tears when he pleaded for 
the defendant, and the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. The de- 
fendant then said, "Well, I always thought I stole those hogs. I said 
I stole them, several people testified that I said I stole them, but 
twelve good citizens of this county have said that I did not, so I have 
come to the conclusion that I must have lied about it. 


One of the old time lawyers in Butler county was Col. Henry T. 
Sumner. He did not spend a great deal of time burning the midnight 
oil or pour over miserable books, but his forensic powers were not 
to be despised. The colonel had taken a claim down in Spring town- 
ship close to the banks of the Walnut. He lived on his claim and 
practiced law occasionally in El Dorado. Now the worst sin of the 
colonel was that he imbibed too freely, and as his credit was not al- 
ways of the best he sometimes, in order to satisfy his appetite, re- 
sorted to strategem. One morning as the colonel strode along the 
banks of the Walnut he observed the judge and Bent and Marsh in a 
boat vanking the bass from the waters. The colonel knew that the 
trio were prudent and careful men. He knew they would not risk 
themselves upon the dangerous waters of the ^^'alnut without being 
supplied with a liberal supply of antidote for snake bite. He further 
knew that the brand of Skalavanacus used by them was of the best, 
and the colonel was powerfully dry, for, as the Governor of North 
Carolina said to the Governor ctf ,South Carolina, "It has been a 
long time between drinks." So he threw out hint after hint and re- 
fused to depart. Now, the trio were not by any means dull or stupid. 
They understood the colonel's hint ; and neither were they tight- 
wads, but they knew the colonel's failing and they did not want to 
have one plain drunk charged up against them, so they continued to 
fish, but did not offer the colonel a drink. Finally the colonel said, 
"Do you fellows want a drink of whiskey?'' The solution of this 
aifficult question was now easy. "No, thank you, colonel, we have 
some," to which the colonel replied, "That is just what I thought; 
now, I haven't a drop." He got his drink. 



Another character of El Dorado was Iverson Williams, an old 
colored man, an ex-slave. He was by no means a fool, and had learned 
enough of the white man's ways to let his wife own the property while 
he owed the debts. He lived in a little cabin near the old Christian 
church that is now used as an office by C. A. Aikman in his grain 
business. Now, this cabin of Iverson's was a low structure and could 
not have been reached by lightning if the lightning had wanted to 
strike it, on account of the taller buildings near it, but a slick light- 
ning rod agent persuaded Iverson that his property and family were 
in great danger, and that the only way to protect them was to rod the 
cabin thoroughly. Iverson agreed and the agent with his men pro- 
ceeded to literally weight it down with rods and cause it to bristle 
like a porcupine with bright, shining points pointing heavenward. It 
certainly looked fine and Iverson was much pleased until the bill was 
presented. The amount of the bill was about equal to the value of 
the cabin with the ground on which it stood. The agent would not be 
put off, but insisted on being paid at once and made all sorts of dire 
threats as to what he would do if the, bill was not paid. Iverson in 
great distresss went up town, where he chanced to meet Colonel Sum- 
ner. He laid his case before the colonel, and after the colonel had 
given the matter a few moments' consideration the following dialogue 
took place : 

The Colonel: Say, that property is in your wife's name, isn't it? 

Iverson : Yes, sah. 

The Colonel: Did your wife authorize, you to contract for the 
lightning rods? 

Iverson : No, sah. 

The Colonel: Go back to the lightning rod agent; it does not 
make any difference what he says, just say to him, ''My wife never 
authorized me to make that contract." 

Iverson followed the colonel's advice, and to all the threats and 
demands of the agent he replied, ''My wife never authorized me, my 
wife never authorized me." The agent finally undersood that Iverson 
had come out best and went away, leaving Iverson and his family un- 
disturbed in their cabin and protected from the bolts of lightning by 
the aforesaid rods and points. A short time after that the colonel, 
who was hard up as usual, went to Iverson and asked him for the sum 
of $10 for his services. Iverson scratched his head, studied a few mo- 
ments and looked up at the colonel, with a twinkle in his eye. "Colonel, 
my wife never authorized me to employ yoii." 



It was during the famous Jessie Morrison trial. Two lawyers on 
opposite sides of that famous case went to Missouri to take depositions. 
When they arrived at their place of destination, a small village, they 
hunted in vain for a notary public before whom they could take their 
depositions. The Missourians did not know where there was any 
notary public ; in fact, did not know what such a critter was, but fur- 
ther inquiry resulted in a discovery that old Squire Smith lived about 
a mile and a half in the couiitry, so the attorneys, taking their wit- 
nesses with them, proceeded to the residence of Squire Smith to have 
their depositions taken. Squire Smith was found to be an old man, 
an ex-Confederate soldier, full of talk and reminiscences and very 
much interested in the Jessie Morrison case, the reports of which in 
the paper he had read with great in.terest. The depositions were duly 
taken, and the squire noticed from the address on the envelope that 
the depositions were to be sent to^ El Dorado, Kan. He at once 
plied the attorneys with questions concerning the Jessie Morrison case. 
He returned to the village with them and insisted on introducing them 
to all the prominent citizens, telling all of the aforesaid prominent 
citizens of their connection with the famous Jessie j\Iorrison case. 
After the attorneys had been introduced to almost everyone in the 
village, finding that the train was late and that they still had an hour 
or more time to kill, they went to a pool room and engaged in a game 
of pool. The squire declined their invitation to join them, but sat on 
a bench watching them and told all newcomers who they were and 
what they were doing, and never forgetting to mention that they were 
attorneys in the Jessie Morrison case. Finally an old-timer came in 
and sat down by the squire and slapped him on the back and asked 
him if there was anything new, to which the squire replied that he 
had been taking depositions in a lawsuit that was to be tried in El 
Dorado, Kan., the place where the famous Jessie Morrison case was be- 
ing tried; that the lawyers who had been taking depositions before him 
were attorneys in the famous Jessie Morrison case. He pointed to 
the aforesaid lawyers where they were engaged in their game of pool 
and said, "That strong, straight, handsome fellow is one of the attor- 
neys for the prosecution ; that tall, slender fellow that is playing with 
him is one of Jessie Morrison's lawyers." Now, these lawyers had 
devoted a great deal more time to studying Blackstone, Chitty, etc., 
than to playing pool, and their efforts in the latter game were rather 
amusing to the old time players who were watching them; and just 
as the squire had finished his remark the attorney for Jessie Morrison 
made a play that was anything but brilliant. He made a dive for the 
cue ball, missed it and knocked two or three others, off the table 
onto the floor, when the Missourian to whom the squire had been 
talking to said, "Well, all I've got to say is that if he is not a darn 
sight better lawyer than he is a pool player. Lord pitty Jessie Mor- 



Dan Bronson was a lawyer in the early days of El Dorado, but he 
did not allow the practice of law to interfere with his "legitimate busi- 
ness." His "legitimate business" was abstracting, real estate and in- 
surance. One day Colonel Sumner called at his office to put through 
a deal that he was anxious to make. Dan told him he would submit 
the proposition to his client in the East. The colonel insisted that 
Dan should then and there write a letter to the aforesaid client. Dan 
took his pen in hand to do so (that was before the days of stenogra- 
phers ; there perhaps was not a lawyer in the town whose business 
amounted to as much as the salary of a stenographer). Now, the 
colonel was a little bit suspicious that Dan might not sufficiently urge 
his acceptance of the proposition, so as Dan was writing he quietly 
tiptoed to Dan's back and looked -over his shoulder to see what he was 
writing. Dan pretended to be all unconscious of this and finally 
wound up his letter with this statement: "I would say more to you. 

but there is a son of gun standing over my shoulder reading 

every word I write you, so I cannot say any more." 


A young El Dorado attorney had just been admitted to the bar. 
Court was in session. He was sitting inside the bar hoping to get a 
case and afraid that he would get one. Finally the case of John Doe, 
charged with boot-legging whiskey, was called. John Doe did not have 
any attorney or any money with which to employ one. The court 
looked over the court room and announced to the young attorney that 
he would be required to defend John Doe. John Doe also glanced at 
the young lawyer and his heart sank within him. He thought seri- 
ously of changing his plea of not guilty to one of guilty and begin 
serving his sentence and getting it over with. A smile passed around the 
court room and some of the older lawyers remarked that John Doe was 
sure to be convicted anyway and the young lawyer might as well prac- 
tice on him an any one. It was announced that John Doe's case would 
be called the following morning, and he was to be ready for trial. The 
young lawyer realized the gravity of the situation, and then he would 
have given a fortune, had he possessed it, if he had never read law, and 
another fortune if he could only clear John Doe and turn the laugh on 
the other fellows. He examined the indictment and found that John 
Doe was 'charged with having sold liquor to Alex Blair. The lawyer 
talked with Alex. Alex said he had l)oughl whiskey of the man ; he 
had never seen him before the time, Init was sure he would know him 
if he should ever see him. He said the fellow wore long hair, a short 
beard and wore a snuff colored coat. The lawyer went to the jail to 
examine his client minutely and found that the description tallied, and 



that the snuff coat, long haid and beard were in evidence. He thought 
long and earnestly. That evening he told the undershiriff, now dead and 
gone, who had charge of the jail, that if he ever had a chance to favor 
him. the aforesaid law^yer, noAV was the time. He pledged his sacred 
word of honor and professional integrity that if the prisoner, John Doe, 
was intrusted to him for two or three hours in the night that he would 
be returned safe and sound. The request was granted. The lawyer had 
a particular friend, a barber, who was told to keep his shop dark that 
night, but to have the back door open. The snuff colored coat was ex- 
changed for one of a very different hue and make. Next morning when 
the State vs. John Doe was called, as the defendant sat beside his at- 
torney, clad in a coat of black, with his hair cut short and minus a beard, 
a jury was duly impaneled. Alex was called to the stand and asked to 
point out the man of whom he had bought the whiskey; he said he could 
not see him. His attention was directed to the defendant, and he swore 
he had never seen him before in his life. Verdict: Not guilty. 





By B. R. Leydig. 

Running from northeast to southwest across the northwestern 
corner of Butler county in an early day was an Indian trail worn a 
foot deep by the countless hordes of savages passing to and fro either 
on the war path or to hunt the buffalo in the short grass country. It 
crossed the Whitewater just above the timber on the head of that 

In the simimer of 1861 a team drawing a covered wagon was la- 
boriously wending its way northeastward along this trail. It be- 
longed to Horace H. A\'ilcox, and with him was his wife and five chil- 
dren, two daughters and three sons. Formerly from Illinois, wdiere he 
still had some interests, he had some years prior to the war moved to 
Southern Texas and engaged in the cattle business. He was a strong 
Cnion man, plain, blunt and outspoken, and on the breaking out of 
the war was given twenty-four hours to hunt a more hospitable clime. 
He did not use it all, but started north on horseback and a few days 
later the good wife and the children followed in the wagon, meeting 
him beyond the Texas line in the then Indian Territory. 

Wlien they reached the crest of the ridge west of the \Miitewater, 
in northwest Butler county, they were entranced with the beautiful 
sweep of valley and timber ; before them lay one of the gems of the 
prairie. Turning to his wife he said, "Mother, this is the prettiest 
spot I ever saw. Let's go settle our business in Illinois, return here 
and make it our home." Being a good wife with pioneer blood in her 
veins, she consented. In 1866 they came to the head of the timber on 
the Whitewater, built an eight-room stone house and stone barn, long 
marvels for size and elegance in the community. Neighbors there were 
none. This stately solitude was the beginning of a splendid empire. 

Five decades of activity led by hope, crowded with activity,, pri- 
vation and toil, won with energy and crowned with golden success 
have marshalled w^ith the past since the first entrancing glance on the 


valley from the hilltop beside the Indian trail. The log cabins and 
sod houses of the early day have given way to modern homes with all 
conveniences and elegant appointments. The prairie is a vast, well 
tilled field. Stock by the thousands are turning the grass and golden 
grain into a richer stream of golden wealth, an Arcadia where the church, 
the school house, and a development of a nobler citizenship are the 
hand-maidens of the nature of the valley, and wealth is not sought for 
Avealth's sake, but for the blessings it may confer. 

Uncle Horace and his good v/ife have long since been called to the 
golden shore. Those who followed the blazed way and settled in the 
vallev grasped the horn of i^lenty and are now the embodiment of 
prosperous contentment, and if perchance the call of the wanderlust 
should for a time lead them away, ever returning as they come to the 
crest of the hill thev involuntarily exclaim. "Mother, this is the pret- 
tiest spot I ever saw." 

Such is the victory of a half century. 

By B. R. Leydig. 

Tired nature has again yielded and mother earth has again taken 
her toll. This time a pioneer, an old friend and neighbor. The real- 
ities of the early davs are fast becoming the legends and romance of 
the present time. What a flood of memories the crisis of the passing 
of a pioneer and neighbor brings, and how the heart grows tender as 
one after another of the kind acts of the deceased pass in review. No 
one can measure the loss this and the coming generations have and will 
suffer because the vicissitudes of the early days have not been written 
and preserved. 

In the first days of March, 1872, as a boy of ten, and a few days 
after arriving in Kansas, my brother and I saw a man working near 
the corner of our homestead, and boy like went went to where he Avas. 
After the greeting we asked him what he was doing and he said he was 
setting out some "cottons." He was sticking cottonwood slips in the 
ground around where he intended to move his hoi;se, and afterwards 
they grew to be the largest cottonwoods in the whole neighborhood. 
This man was I. A. Shriver, who a few daA^s ago was called and laid 
awav in the silent city of the dead, at the age of eighty-three. 

He was born in Greene county, PennsA^lvania, where he grew to 
manhood, married and entered in the stock business. Afterwards he 
moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and in July, 1871, with his wife, daughter 
and son, moved to Clifford township, Butler county, Kansas. They 
came in a spring wagon drawn by a mule team, and camped on the 
bluff on the east side of the Whitewater on section 17. A few days 
later he bought the farm of ^^'alt Gilman, who was the second settler 


in what is now Clifford township. The first settler in that township 
was Horace H. \\"ilcox, who settled there in 1866. Then came AA^alt 
Oilman, who was a blacksmith and who established the first black- 
smith shop in northwest Butler. Then came A\\ D. Show, who was 
afterwards sheriff of the county, and T. I.. Ferrier. Mr. Shriver at 
first built a small box house on the north side of his farm, and shortly 
after we first saw him settino' out the Cottonwood slips, his son, Jacob, 
rode down to our house with a note stating that as we were now in 
balmv Kansas and amonp^ straneers we were invited to his house on a 
certain evenin"' to meet the neishbors and g'et acquainted, and in this 
w^ay was established a neig^hborly intercourse and friendship that had 
lasted throug"h all theg,e 3^ears, and the many acts of kindness on the 
part of himself and family have from that day to this maintained a 
livelv sense of gratitude, which I know was fully reciprocated by his 
kindlv g^reetings during' this long acquaintance. 

Mr. Shriver was by nature endowed with a strong, quick mentality, 
with a natural tendency toward the law, and his father desired that 
he become a lawyer, but the lure of the stock business and the more 
open physical opportunities and activities controlled, much to the re- 
gret of his father, as I well remember his father on a visit he made to 
his son in the eighties say, "that he wanted Ingram to be a lawyer, 
and if he had followed his advice he would" now be Chief Justice of the 
State of Pennsylvania. He was a man of great courage, energy, con- 
fidence and decided convictions, which not only made him a leader, 
but occasionally led to strife. 

In that early day, before the era of the herd law, Mr. AVilcox had 
about one thousand head of cattle grazing on the range where they 
pleased, running over the homesteads of the settlers and among the 
cattle Avere some two dozen young buffalo that he had captured as 
calves on the range west of the Arkansas, and the homesteaders re- 
senting the trespass of these cattle, shot many of them and especially 
the young buffalo, which AA''ilcox prized highly. One morning in the 
winter of 1871 and 1872. a couple of dead buffalo were found by Wil- 
cox's men in the timber on Shriver's land, the killing" of which Mr. 
Shriver was in no way responsible. A\'ilcox got his shot gun. saddled 
up Blackbird, the mare he rode out of Texas at the beginning" of the 
w'ar, pursued by a mob because he was an outspoken Union man, and 
rode over to where Shriver was loading a wagon with hay from the 
stack, pulled the gun down on him and said: "Shriver. you killed my 
buffalo, and I am going to kill you." A\'ith a mental ([uickness and 
diplomacy, Shriver replied: "All right, Mr. A\'ilcox, but what good 
would that do? It would not give life to your buffalo and would cause 
your family lots of trouble." Wilcox hesitated a while and then said: 
'T will let you go this time," turned and rode off. Out of this incident 
grew a feud that more or less embroiled the entire neighborhood for 
the next ten vears. resulting in much vexatious and pcttv litigation. 


Happily, however, one day they met on the road and with a word or 
two said, "Let bygones be bygones," and thereafter both stood as pillars 
for peace and neighborhood good will until their end, Mr. Wilcox being 
the first to go, passing away in August, 1888. 

Mr. Shriver took great interest in the educational affairs of the 
community, and largely through his efforts District No. Jt^ was formed 
and the schdol house built in 1872, being for many years the largest 
and 1)est built school house in northern lUitler, and doing yeoman and 
efficient service to this day. Mr. Shriver was a very successful farmer, 
stockman and feeder, and in 1883 moved to Peabody and for many 
years was general live stock agent for the Rock Island Railroad Com- 
pany in Kansas, and also served as councilman^ and mayor of the city 
of Peabody. The. gentle spirit of the wife of his early manhood took 
its flight in June, 1886. What a noble woman and mother she was. 
No home in the neighborhood but had been the recipient of her kindly 
ministrations, and of sucIt* mothers has been molded the stalwart and 
incomparable character of Kansans. Some years later he was united 
in marriage wath Aliss Jennie Moore, of Kansas City, Missouri, who 
survives him. 

A strong, rugged character, great mentality, quick perception, born 
to rule and to fight, with his face to the front he sank to rest within a 
few minutes of the first premonition, and every day of his life from 
that July day in 1871, has left its impress upon the annals of the com- 
munity where he lived. It is with pleasure that I recall his cheerful 
greeting and pleasant smile, with the liope that he has that peace 
which passeth understanding. 

By the late Mrs. Amos Adams. 

Under the caption, "A Happy Early Comer," Mrs. Adams wrote an 
article which appeared in the Woman's Edition of the "Times," March 
13, 1896, in wdiich she described some of the experiences of early days 
in Butler county. This edition was compiled by the late Alvah Sheldon, 
a life-long friend and admirer of Air. and Mrs. Adams. The article fol- 
lows : 

Ed. "Times:" Mr. Adams and myself came to Kansas in October, 
1866, and took a homestead at the confluence of Diamond creek and the 
Whitewater river. Here we have lived continuouslv ever since — a lono- 
time in one place. We made the journey to Kansas in a "covered wa- 
gon" and not without hardship. Mr. Adams had just returned from his 
service in the Union army the spring before and his army life induced a 
love of adventure which probably turned his hopes westward ; so we 
came thither. 

We were both young and full of hope and our dream was of a home, 
surrounded by the comforts and conveniences of life. Our dream, I am 


glad to say, has been realized, even in its coloring. Out of Kansas soil 
and under the beneficence of Kansas sky we have builded such a home 
ad in it we are happy. 

Our oldest child, now living", was not born until seven years after we 
landed on the ^^l^itewater. Into that seven years are croAvded my ex- 
periences Avith pioneer life. It was a period of hardships, privations and 
dangers, not without even the sweetest pleasures. 

Our first home was a rude log cabin, hurriedlv built, without anv 
traces of skill or art. During the rainy season there were only two dry 
places under the roof — under the bed and the table ! I\Iany a night of the 
sweetest slumber was passed under the bed instead of on it. I recall one 
night in particular. A\"e Avere entertaining a coav boy. The rain was 
pouring in through the defective roof. Raising the table lea\-es, Mr. 
Adams and the coAv-boy found shelter there, Avhile my couch Avas laid 
under the bed among the trunks and boxes contining our clothing. No 
clothing was removed and Air. Adams had gone to bed Avith an egg in 
his coat pocket Avhich he had found in the evening Avhile doing the chores. 
When he arose in the morning, strange to say, the ^^^ Avas not broken. 
At this discoA^ery the coAvboy's laughter became ungovernable. 

During this time my household duties Avere feAv and simple and 
quickly performed. My chief occupation Avas herding cattle in company 
with Mr. Adams. We soon had a large number of cattle Avhich ran at 
large, grazing all oA'er Northwest Butler county. I soon learned to use 
the side saddle and ncA'er had any hesitancy about mounting the Avildest 
Texas broncho. I have battled in rain Avith many a stampede and round- 
ed up the herd in a snoAA' storm. Colored in memory, they seem happier 
days than they really Avere. 

In the spring of 1868. I became a school teacher. I passed the ex- 
amination under Dr. Kellogg, then county superintendent, and taught 
a three rnonths' term in district No. 9. It Avas the first term of school 
CA^er taught there and Avas all the school